Anyone who has been too scared to sell a falling stock ("But I'll lose money!") or too insulted to accept $3 from someone who intends to keep the other $7 in free money handed out in an experiment ("Why should he get so much more than me?" players of the Ultimatum Game think time and again) knows that emotions play a role in our financial decisions.
Often that's to our detriment, as the burgeoning field of neuroeconomics shows. In at least one case, however, letting emotions guide us pays off for all concerned, an intriguing new study concludes--and may explain the "pay it forward" phenomenon, in which being the beneficiary of a kind or generous deed inspires you to act that way toward a third person.
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