Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Getting angry can help negotiations in some cultures, hurt it in others

Date:
July 21, 2010
Source:
Association for Psychological Science
Summary:
Getting angry might help you get your way if you're negotiating with European-Americans, but watch out -- in negotiations with East Asians, getting angry may actually hurt your cause. That's the conclusion of a new study on how people from different cultures react to anger in negotiations.

Getting angry might help you get your way if you're negotiating with European Americans, but watch out – in negotiations with East Asians, getting angry may actually hurt your cause. That's the conclusion of a new study on how people from different cultures react to anger in negotiations.
Credit: iStockphoto/Marcus Clackson

Getting angry might help you get your way if you're negotiating with European Americans, but watch out – in negotiations with East Asians, getting angry may actually hurt your cause. That's the conclusion of a new study on how people from different cultures react to anger in negotiations.

Most research on negotiations has shown that anger is a good strategy – it gets you larger concessions than other emotions, like happiness, or no emotions. But these studies have mostly been carried out in Western populations, says Hajo Adam, of INSEAD in France, who coauthored the new study with William Maddux of INSEAD and Aiwa Shirako of the University of California - Berkeley.

Adam noticed differences in emotions at the institute where he works. "INSEAD is very diverse, with people from all over the world. I noticed that sometimes people get angry, and you see that people react differently to that. I was wondering whether a lot of those different reactions might be explained by cultural backgrounds." He studies negotiation, so he decided to study how intercultural differences in the ways that people react to emotion expressions affect negotiation outcomes. For example, when President Clinton took an aggressive, angry stance in trade negotiations with Japan in the early 1990s, the Japanese were annoyed, and negotiation largely failed.

The experiment used volunteers at the University of California - Berkeley. Half were Americans of European ethnicity and half were Asian or Asian American. Each student took part in a negotiation on a computer. They were told that they were negotiating with another participant, but they were actually negotiating with a computer program. The student was supposed to be selling a mobile phone, and making deals on issues like the warranty period and price. In some negotiations, the computer said it was angry about the negotiation; in others, it did not mention emotion. European Americans made larger concessions to an angry opponent than to a non-emotional opponent. Asians and Asian Americans, however, made smaller concessions if their opponent was angry rather than non-emotional.

A subsequent experiment suggested that this may happen because of cultural norms about whether it's appropriate to get mad. This experiment started with telling the participants whether or not expressing anger was acceptable during the study. Asians and Asian Americans made greater concessions to an angry opponent if they were told that expressing anger was acceptable, and European Americans were less likely to make concessions if they were told that anger was unacceptable. When anger expressions are perceived as inappropriate, "People tend to react negatively. They no longer want to concede," says Adam. "They may even want to shut down and potentially penalize the counterpart for acting inappropriately."

"I think what's important is that one person expressing emotions really affects another person's feelings, thoughts, and behavior," says Adam. "And these reactions to emotional displays can critically depend on a person's cultural background." The research is published in Psychological Science , a journal of the Association for Psychological Science.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Association for Psychological Science. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Hajo Adam and William Maddux. Cultural Variance in the Interpersonal Effects of Anger in Negotiations. Psychological Science, (in press)

Cite This Page:

Association for Psychological Science. "Getting angry can help negotiations in some cultures, hurt it in others." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 21 July 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/07/100720123631.htm>.
Association for Psychological Science. (2010, July 21). Getting angry can help negotiations in some cultures, hurt it in others. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/07/100720123631.htm
Association for Psychological Science. "Getting angry can help negotiations in some cultures, hurt it in others." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/07/100720123631.htm (accessed July 30, 2014).

Share This




More Mind & Brain News

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

It's Not Just Facebook: OKCupid Experiments With Users Too

It's Not Just Facebook: OKCupid Experiments With Users Too

Newsy (July 29, 2014) If you've been looking for love online, there's a chance somebody has been looking at how you're looking. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
How Your Face Can Leave A Good Or Bad First Impression

How Your Face Can Leave A Good Or Bad First Impression

Newsy (July 29, 2014) Researchers have found certain facial features can make us seem more attractive or trustworthy. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Losing Sleep Leaves You Vulnerable To 'False Memories'

Losing Sleep Leaves You Vulnerable To 'False Memories'

Newsy (July 27, 2014) A new study shows sleep deprivation can make it harder for people to remember specific details of an event. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
University Quiz Implies Atheists Are Smarter Than Christians

University Quiz Implies Atheists Are Smarter Than Christians

Newsy (July 25, 2014) An online quiz from a required course at Ohio State is making waves for suggesting atheists are inherently smarter than Christians. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins