Positive Upshots of Anger in Decision-Making

Uzma Khan, Stanford University, USA
Michal Maimaran, Northwestern University, USA
Ravi Dhar, Yale University, USA
While anger is generally perceived as negative, we show that it can have positive effects on decision-making. Study 1 shows that angry people are less likely to defer choice. Study 2 demonstrates that anger decreases a bias to choose the compromise option. We propose that the effects arise due to a reduced tendency to make attribute-level tradeoffs among angry individuals. Studies 3-4 provide support for this mechanism. Study 5 shows that anger can lead to greater choice satisfaction. Together, the studies suggest that anger plays an important role in eliminating several decision biases and can lead to potentially better decisions.
[ to cite ]:
Uzma Khan, Michal Maimaran, and Ravi Dhar (2010) ,"Positive Upshots of Anger in Decision-Making", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 37, eds. Margaret C. Campbell, Jeff Inman, and Rik Pieters, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 263-266 .