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Mad and Misleading: Incidental Anger Promotes Deception

49 Pages Posted: 12 Aug 2014 Last revised: 19 Oct 2016

Jeremy A. Yip

University of Pennsylvania - The Wharton School

Maurice E. Schweitzer

University of Pennsylvania - Operations & Information Management Department

Date Written: October 1, 2016

Abstract

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

Yip, Jeremy A. and Schweitzer, Maurice E., Mad and Misleading: Incidental Anger Promotes Deception (October 1, 2016). Forthcoming in Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2478692 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2478692

Jeremy A. Yip (Contact Author)

University of Pennsylvania - The Wharton School ( email )

Philadelphia, PA 19104
United States
215-573-0501 (Phone)

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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