Bliss is Ignorance: The Interpersonal Costs of Being Very Happy

Posted: 20 Sep 2013

See all articles by Alixandra Barasch

Alixandra Barasch

INSEAD; New York University (NYU) - Leonard N. Stern School of Business

Emma Levine

University of Chicago - Booth School of Business

Maurice E. Schweitzer

University of Pennsylvania - Operations & Information Management Department

Date Written: September 19, 2013

Abstract

Across four studies, we demonstrate that the magnitude of emotion matters. The same emotion (e.g., happiness) can have very different effects at high levels than it does at moderate levels. In our studies, we show that the magnitude of an emotion expression significantly influences social cognition. Participants perceive very happy individuals to be more naïve than moderately happy individuals, and these perceptions are mediated by the belief that very happy individuals shelter themselves from negative information about the world. As a consequence of these inferences, very happy people are taken advantage of more than moderately happy people are.

Keywords: emotion and social judgment, trait inferences, naiveté, conflict of interest

Suggested Citation

Barasch, Alixandra and Levine, Emma and Schweitzer, Maurice E., Bliss is Ignorance: The Interpersonal Costs of Being Very Happy (September 19, 2013). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2328358 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2328358

Alixandra Barasch (Contact Author)

INSEAD ( email )

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Fontainebleau, 77305
France

New York University (NYU) - Leonard N. Stern School of Business ( email )

44 West 4th Street
Suite 9-160
New York, NY NY 10012
United States

Emma Levine

University of Chicago - Booth School of Business ( email )

5807 S. Woodlawn Avenue
Chicago, IL 60637
United States

Maurice E. Schweitzer

University of Pennsylvania - Operations & Information Management Department ( email )

Philadelphia, PA 19104
United States
215-898-4776 (Phone)
215-898-3664 (Fax)

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