A four-fold classification of emotions with respect to their functions in decision making is proposed. It is argued that emotions are not homogenous concerning their role in decision making, but that four distinct functions can be distinguished concerning emotional phenomena. One function is to provide information about pleasure and pain for preference construction, a second function is to enable rapid choices under time pressure, a third function is to focus attention on relevant aspects of a decision problem, and a fourth function is to generate commitment concerning morally and socially significant decisions. The pertinent literature on the relationship between emotion and decision making is reviewed, and it is concluded that most approaches fit into the proposed framework. We argue that a precise conceptualization of emotional phenomena is required to advance our understanding of the complex role of emotions in decision making.