Fuel in the Fire : The Effects of Anger on Risky Decision Making

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ZHANG, Keshun, 2016. Fuel in the Fire : The Effects of Anger on Risky Decision Making [Dissertation]. Konstanz: University of Konstanz

@phdthesis{Zhang2016Effec-35738, title={Fuel in the Fire : The Effects of Anger on Risky Decision Making}, year={2016}, author={Zhang, Keshun}, address={Konstanz}, school={Universität Konstanz} }

2016-10-26T11:41:30Z Many social and economic interactions involve some form of risk, and thus these risk decisions we make define our lives. There is accumulating empirical evidence suggesting that anger can have a strong impact on normatively unrelated risk-taking, such as discrete risk or trust behaviors. However, the mechanisms by which anger influences risk-taking are still unclear. The answer to this question has immediate relevance and important implications for many social and economic issues. Therefore, the present dissertation aims to investigate the mechanisms by which anger influences risk-taking. The theoretical framework of this dissertation is based on the Appraisal Tendency Framework (ATF, Lerner & Keltner, 2000a, 2001), which proposes a general theoretical model predicting emotion-specific impacts on economic judgments and choices. It allows a precise prediction of the differential impact of discrete emotions on particular judgments due to their link to emotion-specific appraisal tendencies. As anger is one of the most frequently experienced emotions in our daily lives, it merits special attention in the process of risk-taking. Anger affects basic cognitive processes (e.g., perceptions of control and certainty) and social processes (e.g., perceived social distance to other people), which, in turn, could shape the decisions people make and the lives they lead. In this dissertation, I manipulate anger by using two paradigms, either arousing incidental anger by asking participants to play computer games or to recall past anger experiences. Furthermore, I measure two types of risk-taking behavior, including tasks in which uncertainty is generated by objective probability (e.g., lottery-based risk) and those in which uncertainty is generated by the uncertain behavior of another person (e.g., person-based risk). I investigate the effects of anger on risk-taking behavior in these two types of tasks, by applying the two paradigms to manipulate anger in three sets of studies. Study I focuses on the impact of anger on lottery-based risk-taking, by arousing anger via a computer game. Study II investigates how anger influences person-based risk (here referred to as trust behavior). Furthermore, Study III examines the mechanisms underlying how and when anger influences trust. Study II and III manipulate anger by asking participants to recall past anger experiences. Study I investigates how anger influences lottery-based risk. Considering the importance of control appraisals in the emergence of emotions, an experimental paradigm for inducing externally caused and consequently externally attributed loss of control, which should lead to experiences of anger, is developed and pretested in a Pilot Study. The Main Study investigates the relationship between loss of control experiences, anger, and risk-taking behavior. More precisely, it examines whether anger, an emotion usually elicited by experiences where one’s goal attainment has been blocked by external causes, mediates the relationship between subjective loss of control and risk-taking. Furthermore, the cross-cultural generalizability of the proposed mechanisms is tested by investigating and comparing two separate student samples from Germany (N = 84, 54% female) and China (N = 125; 64% female). In line with the hypotheses, the results show that anger mediates the link between subjective loss of control experiences and increased risk-taking behavior. Multiple group comparisons revealing similar patterns in both samples affirm the results’ cross-cultural generalizability. These results indicate that anger makes people less risk averse in the process of economic decision making. Study II investigates the influence of anger on person-based risk, namely trust behavior. There is accumulating evidence suggesting that anger can have a strong impact on discrete trust behavior. However, the mechanisms underlying how anger influences trust are still unclear. In the present study, perceived social distance is expected to mediate the effect of anger on trust, and gender is assumed to moderate this mediation. To test this hypothesis, a 2 (emotion: anger vs. control) × 2 (gender: male vs. female) factorial design (N = 107, 48 female) is used. Instead of using the computer game paradigm from Study I, anger is manipulated by asking participants to recall personal anger experiences in this study, which is a classic method to arouse emotion. The results are in line with our predictions: social distance mediates the effect of anger on trust, and gender moderates this mediation. More precisely, anger drives women, but not men, to send more money to their counterparts in a trust game than controls because, unlike men, angry women perceive smaller social distance between themselves and their game partners. Our results have implications for the study of emotions and gender differences in economic transactions. Based on the evidence from Study II, Study III further explores how and when anger influences trust in a set of two experiments. In the present study, we hypothesize that gender and social distance to the trustee moderate the effect of anger on trust. To test this hypothesis, a 2 (emotion: anger vs. control) × 2 (social distance: chat vs. no chat) × 2 (gender: male vs. female) factorial design is used, including two separate student samples from Germany (N = 215, 100 female) and China (N = 310, 177 female). Results show that the effect of anger is moderated by gender and the social distance of the trustee. More precisely, men’s trust is neither influenced by anger nor by the social distance of trustee, whereas women’s trust is context-dependent, based on both their anger and social distance of trustee. Consistent with the theory of ATF, the trust of German women is increased by anger, through the activation of affective heuristic processing. However, when they have a prior chat experience with the trustee (small social distance), they instead use analytic processing, and the positive effect of anger on trust fades away. Because of the highly important personality trait of anger suppression for Chinese women, they appear to suppress their anger and use analytic processing, and thus they invest a similar amount of money to the trustee as in the control situation, regardless of whether the trustee is an absolute stranger or someone that they have chatted with. In conclusion, German women’s trust is more context-dependent than men’s, based on their anger and social distance with the trustee. That these functional relationships are detected in both samples affirms the results’ cross-cultural generalizability. In summation, three studies provide empirical evidence for the impact of anger on subsequent risk-taking. Though these studies deal with two different types of risk – lottery-based risk (Study I) and person-based risk (Study II, III) – and use two different methods to arouse anger, risk-taking in two different cultures are shown to be strongly impacted by incidental anger. There are two major contributions of this dissertation. From the methodological perspective, this dissertation develops and successfully does a test a new experimental paradigm to induce anger. In addition to this methodological contribution, this dissertation also provides empirical evidence that incidental anger influences not only lottery-based risk-taking but also person-based risk-taking, a finding that generalizes across two cultures. Several implications for future research and practice are discussed, with a particular focus on the effects of emotions on risky decision making in more applied settings and everyday contexts. Fuel in the Fire : The Effects of Anger on Risky Decision Making Zhang, Keshun 2016-10-26T11:41:30Z eng 2016 Zhang, Keshun

Dateiabrufe seit 26.10.2016 (Informationen über die Zugriffsstatistik)

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