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Webs of Influence: The Psychology of Online Persuasion, 2nd Edition by Nathalie Nahai

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Chapter 2

The psychology of decision-making

Cognition by itself cannot produce action; to influence behavior, the cognitive system must operate via the affective system.

COLIN CAMERER ET AL., BEHAVIOURAL ECONOMISTS1

Although it’s comforting to believe that we make decisions from a rational place, in recent years mounting evidence to the contrary has disabused many of us of this notion. A considerable number of studies and theories suggest that our decision-making can in fact be significantly influenced and biased by our emotional processes.

One of the most widely cited of these is the semantic marker hypothesis, a mechanism proposed by neuroscientist Antonio Damasio which provides evidence that certain sub-cortical regions in the brain contribute ...

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