When does getting angry improve your negotiating ability?

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We hypothesized that anger expressions increase expressers’ ability to claim value in negotiations, but only when the recipients of these expressions have poor alternatives. This effect occurs because anger expression communicates toughness, and only recipients who have poor alternatives are affected by the toughness of their counterpart. In Experiment 1, participants read a scenario about a negotiator who either was angry or not. In Experiment 2, dyads negotiated face-to-face after one negotiator within each dyad was advised to show either anger or no emotion. In both studies, recipients of anger expressions who had poor alternatives conceded more. Experiment 2 also provided evidence that toughness ascribed to the expresser mediated the effect of anger expression on claiming value.

Source: “Get mad and get more than even: When and why anger expression is effective in negotiations” from Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, Volume 42, Issue 3, May 2006, Pages 314-322

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