Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Flirting can pay off for women, study finds

Date:
October 9, 2012
Source:
University of California - Berkeley Haas School of Business
Summary:
When Madeleine Albright became the first female U.S. Secretary of State, she led high-level negotiations between mostly male foreign government leaders. In 2009, comedian Bill Maher asked Albright if she ever flirted on the job and she replied, "I did, I did." Flirtatiousness, female friendliness, or the more diplomatic description "feminine charm" is an effective way for women to gain negotiating mileage, according to a new study.

When Madeleine Albright became the first female U.S. Secretary of State, she led high-level negotiations between mostly male foreign government leaders. In 2009, comedian Bill Maher asked Albright if she ever flirted on the job and she replied, "I did, I did." Flirtatiousness, female friendliness, or the more diplomatic description "feminine charm" is an effective way for women to gain negotiating mileage, according to a new study by Haas School of Business Professor Laura Kray.

"Women are uniquely confronted with a tradeoff in terms of being perceived as strong versus warm. Using feminine charm in negotiation is a technique that combines both," says Kray, who holds the Warren E. and Carol Spieker Chair in Leadership at the Haas School.

The study, "Feminine Charm: An Experimental Analysis of its Costs and Benefits in Negotiations," was published in October in the journal Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin and co-authored by Haas PhD alumna Connson C. Locke of the London School of Economics and Haas PhD candidate Alex B. Van Zant.

Flirtation that generates positive results, says Kray, is not overt sexual advances but authentic, engaging behavior without serious intent. In fact, the study found female flirtation signals attractive qualities such as confidence, which is considered essential to successful negotiators.

To determine whether women who flirt are more effective in negotiating than men who flirt, the researchers asked 100 participants to evaluate to what extent they use social charm in negotiation on a one-to-seven scale.

Earlier that week, the participants evaluated their partners' negotiating effectiveness. Women who said they used more social charm were rated more effective by their partners. However, men who said they used more social charm were not regarded as more effective.

In the second experiment, the researchers asked subjects to imagine they were selling a car worth $1,200 and asked for how much would they sell the car. Next, the subjects read one of two scenarios about a potential buyer named Sue. The first group meets Sue, who shakes hands when she meets the seller, smiles, and says, "It's a pleasure to meet you,." and then "What's your best price?" in a serious tone. The second group reads an alternate scenario in which Sue greets the seller by smiling warmly, looking the seller up and down, touching the seller's arm, and saying, "You're even more charming than over email," followed by a playful wink and asking, "What's your best price?"

The result? Male sellers were willing to give the "playful Sue" more than $100 off the selling price whereas they weren't as willing to negotiate with the "serious Sue." Playful Sue's behavior did not affect female car sellers.

Kray says many of her students who are senior women executives admit they love to flirt and describe themselves as "big flirts." Kray maintains flirting is not unprofessional if it remains playful and friendly.

"The key is to flirt with your own natural personality in mind. Be authentic. Have fun. That will translate into confidence, which is a strong predictor of negotiation performance."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of California - Berkeley Haas School of Business. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. L. J. Kray, C. C. Locke, A. B. Van Zant. Feminine Charm: An Experimental Analysis of its Costs and Benefits in Negotiations. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 2012; 38 (10): 1343 DOI: 10.1177/0146167212453074

Cite This Page:

University of California - Berkeley Haas School of Business. "Flirting can pay off for women, study finds." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 9 October 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/10/121009111942.htm>.
University of California - Berkeley Haas School of Business. (2012, October 9). Flirting can pay off for women, study finds. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/10/121009111942.htm
University of California - Berkeley Haas School of Business. "Flirting can pay off for women, study finds." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/10/121009111942.htm (accessed July 24, 2014).

Share This




More Mind & Brain News

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

Newsy (July 24, 2014) The FDA approved Targiniq ER on Wednesday, a painkiller designed to keep users from abusing it. Like any new medication, however, it has doubters. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
China's Ageing Millions Look Forward to Bleak Future

China's Ageing Millions Look Forward to Bleak Future

AFP (July 24, 2014) China's elderly population is expanding so quickly that children struggle to look after them, pushing them to do something unexpected in Chinese society- move their parents into a nursing home. Duration: 02:07 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Idaho Boy Helps Brother With Disabilities Complete Triathlon

Idaho Boy Helps Brother With Disabilities Complete Triathlon

Newsy (July 23, 2014) An 8-year-old boy helped his younger brother, who has a rare genetic condition that's confined him to a wheelchair, finish a triathlon. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Huge Schizophrenia Study Finds Dozens Of New Genetic Causes

Huge Schizophrenia Study Finds Dozens Of New Genetic Causes

Newsy (July 22, 2014) The 83 new genetic markers could open dozens of new avenues for schizophrenia treatment research. 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