In their version, before beginning the game, Lount and Murnighan asked some trustors to write about an experience that made them happy and asked other trustors to write about an experience that made them sad. They then played the trust game. Among “happy” trustors, 53% gave recipients the full $10; only 21% of “sad” trustors did the same. On average, happy trustors gave away $6.76, and sad trustors gave away $5.58.
It appears that a sad mood decreases trust and negatively influences negotiated outcomes. As this research shows, you would do well to avoid carrying emotional baggage into your most important negotiations.
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