We study whether investor mood affects non-professional investors' judgments of the reliability of fair value estimates. In two experiments, we find that investor mood, which is a factor that is unrelated to the assessment of reliability across the fair value hierarchy, is associated with differences in the extent to which Level 1 fair values are perceived to be more reliable than Level 3 fair values. As mood becomes more positive, investors perceive greater differences in the extent to which Level 1 fair values are more reliable than Level 3 fair values. Importantly, we find that including brief definitions in the headings under which fair values are reported reduces the influence of mood over perceptions of reliability, and likely improves the effectiveness of fair value disclosures.

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