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The Effect of Positive Mood on Cooperation in Repeated Interaction

Eugenio Proto (), Daniel Sgroi and Mahnaz Nazneen
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Mahnaz Nazneen: Department of Economics, University of Warwick

The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) from University of Warwick, Department of Economics

Abstract: According to existing research across several disciplines (management, psychology, economics and neuroscience), positive mood can have positive effects, engendering more altruistic, open and helpful behaviour, but can also work though a more negative channel by inducing inward-orientation, assertiveness, and reduced use of information. This leaves the impact on cooperation in interactive and strategic situations unclear. We find evidence from 490 participants in a laboratory experiment suggesting that participants in an induced positive mood cooperate less in a repeated Prisoner’s Dilemma than participants in a neutral setting. This is robust to the number of repetitions or the inclusion of pre-play communication. In order to understand why positive mood might damage the propensity to cooperate, we conduct a language analysis of the pre-play communication between players. This analysis indicates that subjects in a more positive mood use more inward-oriented and more negative language which supports the negative channel.

New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-big, nep-exp, nep-gth, nep-net and nep-neu
Date: 2017
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Working Paper: The Effect of Positive Mood on Cooperation in Repeated Interaction (2017) Downloads
Working Paper: The Effect of Positive Mood on Cooperation in Repeated Interaction (2017) Downloads
Working Paper: The Effect of Positive Mood on Cooperation in Repeated Interaction (2017) Downloads
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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:wrk:warwec:1141

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