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Testing the impact of frustration and anger when responsibility is low

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  • Persson, Emil

Abstract

Anger is a powerful emotion and it is important to understand its role in human interaction. Angry individuals may become hostile in their dealings with others, and this has strategic consequences. Battigalli, Dufwenberg, and Smith (2015; BDS) develop a formal framework where frustration and anger affect interaction and shape economic outcomes. This paper presents an experiment designed to test predictions based on versions of the theory that involve no or low responsibility of the punished person. In this specific context, I find only limited support for the theory: While unfulfilled expectations about material payoffs generate negative emotions in subjects (which is in line with BDS’ conceptualization of frustration), these emotions do not affect subjects’ behavior in the experiment.

Suggested Citation

  • Persson, Emil, 2018. "Testing the impact of frustration and anger when responsibility is low," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 145(C), pages 435-448.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jeborg:v:145:y:2018:i:c:p:435-448
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jebo.2017.12.001
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    Keywords

    Emotion; Anger; Blame; Psychological games; Experiment;

    JEL classification:

    • C72 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Noncooperative Games
    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
    • D03 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Behavioral Microeconomics: Underlying Principles

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