Your morals might be your moods

Georg Kirchsteiger, Luca Rigotti, Aldo Rustichini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

72 Scopus citations


We test the effect of mood on behavior in a gift-exchange game. To induce a 'bad mood', second movers watched a sad movie before playing the game; to induce a 'good mood', they watched a funny movie. Mood induction was effective: Subjects who saw the funny movie reported a significantly better mood than those who saw the sad movie. These two moods lead to significant differences in behavior. We find that a bad mood implies more reciprocity while a good mood implies more generosity. Furthermore, first movers make more money when second movers are in a bad mood.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)155-172
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Economic Behavior and Organization
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2006


  • Emotions
  • Fairness
  • Motivation
  • Rationality
  • Reciprocity


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