Firm Performance in the Face of Fear: How CEO Moods Affect Firm Performance

Ali Akansu, James Cicon, Stephen P. Ferris, Yanjia Sun

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


The authors use facial emotion recognition software to quantify CEO mood. Anger or disgust motivates a CEO to work harder to improve his or her situation; thus firm profitability improves in the subsequent quarter. Happy CEOs are less likely to work on hard or unpleasant tasks; thus profitability decreases in the subsequent quarter. In the short term, fear explains the firm's announcement period market performance. However, fear is transient and performance improvement is short term.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)373-389
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Behavioral Finance
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Finance


  • Affect
  • CEO
  • Corporate governance
  • Emotion recognition
  • Emotions
  • Facial recognition
  • Firm performance
  • Moods
  • Nonverbal information
  • Soft information


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