The Effect of Positive Mood on Cooperation in Repeated Interaction

Existing research supports two opposing mechanisms through which positive mood might affect cooperation. Some studies have suggested that positive mood produces more altruistic, open and helpful behavior, fostering cooperation. However, there is contrasting research supporting the idea that positive mood produces more assertiveness and inward-orientation and reduced use of information, hampering cooperation. We find evidence that suggests the second hypothesis dominates when playing the repeated Prisoner’s Dilemma. Players in an induced positive mood tend to cooperate less than players in a neutral mood setting. This holds regardless of uncertainty surrounding the number of repetitions or whether pre-play communication has taken place. This finding is consistent with a text analysis of the pre-play communication between players indicating that subjects in a more positive mood use more inward-oriented, more negative and less positive language. To the best of our knowledge we are the first to use text analysis in pre-play communication.


Issue Date:
Nov 11 2017
Publication Type:
Working or Discussion Paper
DOI and Other Identifiers:
Record Identifier:
https://ageconsearch.umn.edu/record/269091
Language:
English
Total Pages:
34
JEL Codes:
C72; C91; D91
Series Statement:
WERP 1141




 Record created 2018-03-01, last modified 2020-10-28

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