Sources of intuitive and deliberative decisions : the role of implicit and explicit motives

Okvitawanli, Ayu GND

The question of underlying (motivational) sources of decisions has largely been neglected within both psychology and economics. This dissertation aims to understand the ‘what’ of decision making by connecting two fields of research that have up to now been studied independently and in isolation: Intuitive/Deliberative Decisions and Dual-Motive Theory. The dual-motive theory proposes two kinds of underlying motivational sources: Implicit and Explicit Motives. While implicit motives are non-declarative, affective-based and partially an innate-system, explicit motives are declarative, cognitively elaborate and a socially-influenced system. This dissertation proposes that intuitive decisions are driven by implicit motives while deliberative decisions are driven by explicit motives. These two hypotheses were tested empirically across five experiments. Throughout the experiments, intuitive and deliberative decision modes were induced via instructions. Decisions were in the form of scenarios with options corresponding to Achievement, Affiliation or Power motives. Contrary to our hypothesis, we did not find differences depending on the decision mode. Regardless of whether decisions were made intuitively or deliberatively, explicit motives predicted decisions and implicit motives did not predict decisions. The fact that implicit motives did not predict decisions could mean that (a) it is not implicit motives that drive intuitive decisions or (b) it was not intuition which was assessed. Further examinations on implicit motive and decision making literature revealed that (a) while the influence of implicit motives has been shown in a variety of cognitive and behavioural indicators, the exact processes of how motives affect behaviors have not been properly addressed and (b) while the basic distinction between intuitive and deliberative may be clear, it remains unclear when exactly each mode of decision making becomes activated.


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Okvitawanli, Ayu: Sources of intuitive and deliberative decisions. the role of implicit and explicit motives. Jena 2016.

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