Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10419/174040
Authors: 
Proto, Eugenio
Sgroi, Daniel
Nazneen, Mahnaz
Year of Publication: 
2017
Series/Report no.: 
IZA Discussion Papers 11130
Abstract: 
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.
Subjects: 
Prisoner's Dilemma
cooperation
positive mood
JEL: 
C72
C91
D91
Document Type: 
Working Paper

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