A new study from Maurice Schweitzer, Wharton professor of operations, information and decisions, and Wharton lecturer and research scholar Jeremy Yip shows that anger can influence people in organizations to lie or behave deceptively in areas that have nothing to do with the original conflict.
The problem is not that angry people actually set out to harm or punish others.
“Instead,” says Yip, “what we’re finding is that when people are angry, that anger curtails empathy. And that leads to more self-interested behavior -- in this case, self-serving lies.”
We’ve insisted for a long time that anger is often a mask for pain – that beneath people’s aggressive behavior they are often hurting and trying to cover that up.
The research of Schweitzer and Yip suggests that once the anger surfaces, it can have subtle effect on our perceptions that we might not even be aware of.
CLICK HERE TO WATCH THEIR 15 MINUTE INTERVIEW OR READ AN EDITED TRANSCRIPT