Mixed feelings: the case of ambivalence (Schneider & Schwarz, 2017)

Mixed feelings come in many forms. We focus on mixed feelings resulting from conflicting evaluations of a single attitude object, that is, attitudinal ambivalence. Research on attitudinal ambivalence has led to specific measures that assess the presence, intensity, and resolution of ambivalence, shedding new light on underlying dynamics and moderators. This work has also spawned an interest in the metacognitive experiences of conflict that arise from ambivalence and their downstream consequences for judgment and choice. Because research into mixed emotions may benefit from these conceptual and methodological developments, the current article provides an introductory overview of attitudinal ambivalence and its measurement. — Schneider, I. K., & Schwarz, N. (2017). Mixed feelings: The case of ambivalence. Current Opinion in Behavioral Sciences, 15, 39-45.


Feelings-as-information theory (Schwarz, 2012)

Feelings-as-information theory conceptualizes the role of subjective experiences – including moods, emotions, metacognitive experiences, and bodily sensations – in judgment. It assumes that people attend to their feelings as a source of information, with different feelings providing different types of information. Whereas feelings elicited by the target of judgment provide valid information, feelings that are due to an unrelated influence can lead us astray. The use of feelings as a source of information follows the same principles as the use of any other information. Most important, people do not rely on their feelings when they (correctly or incorrectly) attribute them to another source, thus undermining their informational value for the task at hand. What people conclude from a given feeling depends on the epistemic question on which they bring it to bear; hence, inferences from feelings are context sensitive and malleable. In addition to serving as a basis of judgment, feelings inform us about the nature of our current situation and our thought processes are tuned to meet situational requirements. The chapter reviews the development of the theory, its core propositions and representative findings. — Schwarz, N. (2012). Feelings-as-information theory. In P. Van Lange, A. Kruglanski, & E. T. Higgins (eds.)(2012), Handbook of theories of social psychology (pp. 289-308). Sage.


Feelings and phenomenal experiences (Schwarz & Clore, 2007)

This handbook chapter reviews the role of moods,emotions, bodily sensations and metacognitive experiences in judgment, information processing, and memory. It is an update of a 1996 chapter in an earlier edition of the same handbook. — Schwarz, N., & Clore, G. L. (2007). Feelings and phenomenal experiences. In E. T. Higgins & A. Kruglanski (eds.), Social psychology. Handbook of basic principles (2nd ed.; pp. 385-407). New York: Guilford.


The intricacies of setting people straight (Schwarz, Sanna, Skurnik, & Yoon, 2007)

This chapter reviews the implications of metacognitive experiences for debiasing and public information campaigns. –Schwarz, N., Sanna, L.J., Skurnik, I., & Yoon, C. (2007). Metacognitive experiences and the intricacies of setting people straight:Implications for debiasing and public information campaigns. Advances in Experimental Social Psychology, 39, 127-161.


Processing fluency and aesthetic pleasure (Reber, Schwarz, & Winkielman, 2004)

We propose that aesthetic pleasure is a function of the perceiver’s processing dynamics: The more fluently perceivers can process an object, the more positive their aesthetic response. We review variables known to influence aesthetic judgments, such as figural goodness, figure–ground contrast, stimulus repetition, symmetry, and prototypicality, and trace their effects to changes in processing fluency. Other variables that influence processing fluency, like visual or semantic priming, similarly increase judgments of aesthetic pleasure. Our proposal provides an integrative framework for the study of aesthetic pleasure and sheds light on the interplay between early preferences versus cultural influences on taste, preferences for both prototypical and abstracted forms, and the relation between beauty and truth. In contrast to theories that trace aesthetic pleasure to objective stimulus features per se, we propose that beauty is grounded in the processing experiences of the perceiver, which are in part a function of stimulus properties. — Reber, R., Schwarz, N., & Winkielman, P. (2004). Processing fluency and aesthetic pleasure: Is beauty in the perceiver’s processing experience? Personality and Social Psychology Review, 8, 364-382.


Situated cognition and the wisdom of feelings (Schwarz, 2002)

This chapter reviews the influence of feelings on reasoning style. It provides an integrative model for conceptualizing the impact of moods, emotions, bodily sensations and metacognitive experiences and highlights parallels between the influence of feelings and environmental signals. — Schwarz, N. (2002). Situated cognition and the wisdom of feelings: Cognitive tuning. In L. Feldman Barrett & P. Salovey (Eds.), The wisdom in feelings (pp.144-166). New York: Guilford.