The Strategic Display of Emotions

CentER Discussion Paper Series No. 2019-014

40 Pages Posted:

See all articles by Daniel L. Chen

Daniel L. Chen

Directeur de Recherche, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, Toulouse School of Economics, Institute for Advanced Study in Toulouse, University of Toulouse Capitole, Toulouse, France

Astrid Hopfensitz

University of Toulouse 1 - Toulouse School of Economics (TSE)

Boris van Leeuwen

Tilburg University - Department of Economics

Jeroen van de Ven

University of Amsterdam; Tinbergen Institute

Date Written: April 30, 2019

Abstract

The emotion that someone expresses has consequences for how that person is treated. We study whether people display emotions strategically. In two laboratory experiments, participants play task delegation games in which managers assign a task to one of two workers. When assigning the task, managers see pictures of the workers and we vary whether getting the task is desirable or
not. We find that workers strategically adapt their emotional expressions to the incentives they face, and that it indeed pays off to do so. Yet, workers do not exploit the full potential of the strategic display of emotions.

Keywords: emotions, expressions, communication, experiment, incentives

JEL Classification: D91, C91, D83

Suggested Citation

Chen, Daniel L. and Hopfensitz, Astrid and van Leeuwen, Boris and van de Ven, Jeroen, The Strategic Display of Emotions (April 30, 2019). CentER Discussion Paper Series No. 2019-014. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=

Daniel L. Chen (Contact Author)

Directeur de Recherche, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, Toulouse School of Economics, Institute for Advanced Study in Toulouse, University of Toulouse Capitole, Toulouse, France ( email )

21 allée de Brienne
31015 Toulouse cedex 6 France
Toulouse, 31015
France

Astrid Hopfensitz

University of Toulouse 1 - Toulouse School of Economics (TSE) ( email )

Place Anatole-France
Toulouse Cedex, F-31042
France

Boris Van Leeuwen

Tilburg University - Department of Economics ( email )

P.O. Box 90153
Tilburg, 5000 LE
Netherlands

Jeroen Van de Ven

University of Amsterdam ( email )

Spui 21
Amsterdam, 1018 WB
Netherlands

Tinbergen Institute ( email )

Burg. Oudlaan 50
Rotterdam, 3062 PA
Netherlands

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