How Consumers Spend and Distribute Money Tainted by Anger

Hyun Young Park (First Author)

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Purpose: Anger has become one of the dominantly experienced emotions in recent years, particularly under the COVID-19 pandemic. Considering the critical role that anger plays in consumers' lives, the present research examines how feeling angry about money influences consumers' spending and money distribution decisions. Research design and methodology. Three experiments were conducted using different emotion induction methods (i.e., dictator game, autobiographical recall, and scenario). Results. Feeling angry about money decreased pro-social spending (i.e., less money distribution to the others), but it did not affect virtuous or utilitarian spending for the self-unlike past finding on negative feelings that increased utilitarian spending. Furthermore, whereas anger-tainted money decreased pro-social spending of that money, guilt-tainted money increased pro-social spending. However, the effects of guilt versus anger were not completely symmetrical. The antagonistic effect of anger was diffusive across spending on distant and close others, whereas the pro-social effect of guilt was limited to distant others. Conclusions: These findings help policy makers and financial institutions forecast how money will be distributed or circulated when it is likely to be dampened by anger under the pandemic. They also highlight the importance of examining the effects of discrete emotions (e.g., anger vs. guilt) beyond valence.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)51-59
JournalJournal of Distribution Science (유통과학연구)
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2021

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CEIBS Research Grant

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  • Anger
  • Consumer Spending
  • Guilt
  • Mental Accounting
  • Money Distribution


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