Mad and Misleading: Incidental Anger Promotes Deception
49 Pages Posted: 12 Aug 2014 Last revised: 19 Oct 2016
Date Written: October 1, 2016
Emotions influence ethical behavior. Across four studies, we demonstrate that incidental anger, anger triggered by an unrelated situation, promotes the use of deception. In Study 1, participants who felt incidental anger were more likely to deceive their counterpart than those who felt neutral emotion. In Study 2, we demonstrate that empathy mediates the relationship between anger and deception. In Study 3, we contrasted anger with sadness. We find that participants who felt incidental anger were more likely to use deception than were participants who felt another negative-valence emotion. In Study 4, we show that incentives moderate the relationship between anger and deception. Collectively, our work reveals that incidental anger promotes unethical behavior because angry people become less empathetic when pursuing their self-interest.
Keywords: Lying, Unethical Behavior, Dishonesty, Emotion, Anger, Empathy, Negotiations, Advice, Self-Interest
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation