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Psychol Sci. 2004 May;15(5):337-41.

Heart strings and purse strings: Carryover effects of emotions on economic decisions.

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Department of Social & Decision Sciences, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA 15213, USA.


We examined the impact of specific emotions on the endowment effect, the tendency for selling prices to exceed buying or "choice" prices for the same object. As predicted by appraisal-tendency theory, disgust induced by a prior, irrelevant situation carried over to normatively unrelated economic decisions, reducing selling and choice prices and eliminating the endowment effect. Sadness also carried over, reducing selling prices but increasing choice prices--producing a "reverse endowment effect" in which choice prices exceeded selling prices. The results demonstrate that incidental emotions can influence decisions even when real money is at stake, and that emotions of the same valence can have opposing effects on such decisions.

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