Quotation Noval, Laura, Stahl, Günter. 2014. The Positive Role Of Negative Emotions In Ethical Decision Making. Academy of Management Annual Meeting AOM, Philadelphia, United States/USA, 01.08-05.08.




This study examines the effect of negative and positive incidental emotional states on both harmful behavior and prosocial behavior. We hypothesized that negative emotions will reduce harmful behaviors, whereas positive emotions will increase prosocial behaviors. The findings of two empirical studies confirm that negative incidental emotions reduce the likelihood that people would engage in behavior with harmful consequences for others, an effect that is found to be partly mediated by higher-level cognitive processes, such as perceived moral intensity of the issue (Jones, 1991). Contrary to our predictions, we found no evidence for an influence of positive emotional state on prosocial behavior; instead the emotion sadness seemed to induce “compensatory” prosocial behavior. The implications for the role of incidental emotions in influencing ethical decision making and these two types of ethical behavior in a business context are discussed.


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Publication's profile

Status of publication Published
Affiliation WU
Type of publication Paper presented at an academic conference or symposium
Language English
Title The Positive Role Of Negative Emotions In Ethical Decision Making
Event Academy of Management Annual Meeting AOM
Year 2014
Date 01.08-05.08
Country United States/USA
Location Philadelphia


Stahl, Günter (Details)
Noval, Laura (Former researcher)
Institute for International Business (Stahl) (Details)
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