After an hour or so, Ho walked out of the store with the $380 painting – for only $120. Negotiation, Ho knows, is an art, too. In new research conducted with Assistant Professor Eduardo Andrade, Ho finds deflating – or inflating – one’s emotions can be a winning strategy.
Ho and Andrade are the co-authors of “Gaming Emotions in Social Interactions” – the lead article in the December 2009 issue of The Journal of Consumer Research. The paper reveals that people strategically “game” emotions to achieve the desired outcome of a negotiation.
Ho is marketing group chair and Andrade is an assistant marketing professor at the University of California, Berkeley’s Haas School of Business.
Ho and Andrade hypothesized, first, that people would strategically display anger when given the opportunity to do so, and second, that the strategy might actually increase the angry person’s payoff in the negotiation. “To do so, we created a paradigm that allowed us to precisely measure the gap, if any, between real and expressed emotions, as well as to test the actual financial consequences of the ‘emotion gaming’ strategy,” says Ho.
In the Haas School’s xLab, a social science laboratory, the researchers divided subjects into random groups: the proposers and the receivers. One proposer and one receiver were paired as partners, but they remained anonymous to each other during the games.
They began with a “dictator game.” Ho and Andrade gave $10 to each proposer and instructed him/her to divide the money with the respective partner. Both players knew the receiver had to accept any offer. All proposers chose to keep a larger share of the pie. Receivers were then asked to report their current level of anger on a 101-point scale. On average, receivers reported a relatively mild level of anger.
Next, the researchers launched the “ultimatum game,” where the same players were paired together. Again, the proposer decided how to divide the pot. This time, the receiver could either accept or decline the offer. If he said, “no deal” - neither proposer nor receiver would receive any portion of the $10. Most importantly, just before the proposer sent the offer, researchers told the receiver to report (again) his or her current level of anger. Researchers told only half of the receivers that this second report would be sent to the proposer before he made his decision on how to divide the pie.
The study found when receivers knew that their level of anger would be reported to proposers before the latter made a decision, receivers significantly inflated their current level of anger—that is, they “gamed” their emotions. Moreover, the strategy paid off. Angrier receivers extract a larger share of the pie from the paired proposers. One participant said, “I did it on purpose in order to be treated more fairly.”
Ho explains, “This equates to ‘This is my final offer, take it or leave it.’ The proposer knows he caused the receiver to be angry in the dictator game. That’s the key. That’s why the proposer is willing to make a better offer in the ultimatum game.”
However, Ho notes this was a one-shot test, and faking one’s emotion continuously may not produce the same favorable results. He compares the experiment to an eBay transaction between an occasional buyer and seller in which there is no concern for reputation because the transaction is anonymous.
A subsequent experiment provided further evidence that successful “emotion gaming” is contingent on the credibility of the inflated emotion. “When proposers believed that the receivers’ report of anger was credible, they offered a higher share to angrier receivers. When proposers noticed that the receivers could be pretending to be angrier than she or he really was, they completely disregarded their partner’s expressed feelings,” says Andrade.
Finally, Ho and Andrade attempted to test whether emotion is more influential than plain information. This time, receivers could rate the offer by how angry it made them feel or how much the offer fell below their expectations. Most chose to report their anger. Displays of anger, the study suggests, are more effective than displays of inflated expectation because they are possible precursors to acts of irrationality or vindictiveness, which in this experiment could result in a rejection of the offer and both sides leaving empty-handed. The researchers reasoned an exaggerated show of anger might scare the proposer into thinking that the receiver would reject the offer altogether. Instead of risking that, the proposer made a more generous offer.
“We are not suggesting people should always appear angry to get what they want, “cautions Ho, “People naturally move their emotional state in a calculated way to get what they want. It might not always be anger. Sometimes we must act happy to get something even when we’re not feeling happy.”
As for Ho, he says his work has given him a new perspective on the art of bargaining. “Now when I go to a negotiation and people become angry, I am personally more able to appreciate the person’s motive.”
Full paper: http://faculty.haas.berkeley.edu/hoteck/PAPERS/Andrade-Ho2.pdf
Pamela Tom | Newswise Science News
Frugal Innovations: when less is more
19.04.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Arbeitswirtschaft und Organisation IAO
Europe's microtechnology industry is attuned to growth
10.03.2017 | IVAM Fachverband für Mikrotechnik
More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.
Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...
Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.
"The structural robustness of thin metal films has significant importance for the reliable operation of smart skin and flexible electronics including...
The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.
Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...
The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...
Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.
Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...
20.04.2017 | Event News
18.04.2017 | Event News
03.04.2017 | Event News
24.04.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
24.04.2017 | Materials Sciences
24.04.2017 | Life Sciences