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Predictable and Predictive Emotions: Explaining Cheap Signals and Trust Re-Extension

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  • Eric Schniter

    () (Economic Science Institute, Chapman University)

  • Roman M. Sheremeta

    (Weatherhead School of Management, Case Western Reserve University and Economic Science Institute, Chapman University)

Abstract

Despite normative predictions from economics and biology, unrelated strangers can often develop the trust necessary to reap gains from one-shot economic exchange opportunities. This appears to be especially true when declared intentions and emotions can be cheaply communicated. Perhaps even more puzzling to economists and biologists is the observation that anonymous and unrelated individuals, known to have breached trust, often make effective use of cheap signals, such as promises and apologies, to encourage trust re-extension. We used a pair of trust games with one-way communication and emotion surveys to investigate the role of emotions in regulating the propensity to message, apologize, re-extend trust, and demonstrate trustworthiness. This design allowed us to observe the endogenous emergence and natural distribution of trust-relevant behaviors, remedial strategies used by promise-breakers, their effects on behavior, and subsequent outcomes. We found that emotions triggered by interaction outcomes are predictable and also predict subsequent apology and trust re-extension. The role of emotions in behavioral regulation helps explain why messages are produced, when they can be trusted, and when trust will be re-extended.

Suggested Citation

  • Eric Schniter & Roman M. Sheremeta, 2014. "Predictable and Predictive Emotions: Explaining Cheap Signals and Trust Re-Extension," Working Papers 14-07, Chapman University, Economic Science Institute.
  • Handle: RePEc:chu:wpaper:14-07
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    Cited by:

    1. Schniter, Eric & Sheremeta, Roman M. & Shields, Timothy W., 2015. "Conflicted emotions following trust-based interaction," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 51(C), pages 48-65.
    2. Joaquin Gómez-Miñambres & Eric Schniter, 2017. "Emotions and Behavior Regulation in Decision Dilemmas," Games, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 8(2), pages 1-25, May.
    3. Michael Caldara & Michael T. McBride & Matthew W. McCarter & Roman M. Sheremeta, 2017. "A Study of the Triggers of Conflict and Emotional Reactions," Games, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 8(2), pages 1-12, April.
    4. Edgar E. Kausel, 2017. "Assessing Others’ Risk‐Taking Behavior from Their Affective States: Experimental Evidence Using a Stag Hunt Game," Games, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 8(1), pages 1-11, February.
    5. Lawrence Ian Reed & Peter DeScioli, 2017. "The Emotional Moves of a Rational Actor: Smiles, Scowls, and Other Credible Messages," Games, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 8(2), pages 1-11, March.
    6. Laura K. Gee & Xinxin Lyu & Heather Urry, 2017. "Anger Management: Aggression and Punishment in the Provision of Public Goods," Games, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 8(1), pages 1-28, January.
    7. Schniter, E. & Shields, T.W. & Sznycer, D., 2020. "Trust in humans and robots: Economically similar but emotionally different," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 78(C).

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    emotions; promises; apologies; trust game; reciprocity; experiments;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C9 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments
    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
    • C92 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Group Behavior

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