Anger and Neoclassical Rationality

30 Pages Posted: 31 Mar 2006

See all articles by Daniel John Zizzo

Daniel John Zizzo

University of Queensland - School of Economics

Date Written: March 30, 2006


This paper evaluates the rationality of anger in the light of a standard notion of economic rationality. Whether anger is rational or otherwise cannot be answered in general, but will depend on the economic setting. As long as anger can be explained as a preference in a parsimonious and stable utility function, it does not make sense to talk of anger as rational or irrational. The production of anger is subtly mediated by a variety of cognitive factors. These (and the cognitive effects produced by anger) underlie what are the genuine problems that anger creates for rational choice.

Keywords: anger, emotions, rationality, cognition

JEL Classification: C91, D11

Suggested Citation

Zizzo, Daniel John, Anger and Neoclassical Rationality (March 30, 2006). Available at SSRN: or

Daniel John Zizzo (Contact Author)

University of Queensland - School of Economics ( email )

St Lucia
Brisbane, Queensland 4072

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