Date of Submission

Spring 2014

Academic Programs and Concentrations

Psychology; Economics

Project Advisor 1

Aniruddha Mitra

Project Advisor 2

Kristin Lane

Abstract/Artist's Statement

In recent years, trust has emerged as a key concept in the understanding of cooperation between individuals and organizations. It has been implicated as an important variable in topics ranging from individual decision-making in finance, to macroeconomic growth and stability in developing countries. This thesis employs an experimental design to investigate the impact of emotions on trust behavior. In the experiment, emotion was induced in participants who then played a basic trust game originally proposed by Berg, Dickhaut, & McCabe (1995). Results indicate that emotions do impact trust, with anger decreasing trust behavior. However, the data also reveal that individual propensity for risk as well as attachment to a community play a role in the effect of emotions on trust. This finding contributes to the current literature in that it provides empirical evidence not only for the impact of emotions on trust but also for the relationship between emotions, risk, and trust behavior. The implications of these findings are discussed in light of recent literature in behavioral economics.

Open Access Agreement

Open Access

Creative Commons License

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