Anger, Rationality and Neuroeconomics

Dec 2003 | 182

Authors: Daniel John Zizzo


This paper employs neurobehavioral and psychological evidence to argue that anger is an emotion arising from significant cognitive processing, one that, in relation to economic decision-making, may be subtly mediated by many factors (including intentions). Anger is an emotion implying a higher likelihood of a behavioral response directed against the object of anger. The medial and possibly other prefrontal cortex regions play an important role in anger processing, whereas the amygdala does not. Any eventual difficulty for rational choice may come more from the difficulty of understanding the cognitive underpinnings of anger than from understanding the emotional process itself.

JEL Codes: C91, D11.

Keywords: Anger, Emotions, Neuroeconomics, Rationality.


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