G.A. van Kleef
- When happiness pays in negotiation: the interpersonal effects of 'exit option' directed emotions
- Mind & Society
- Volume | Issue number
- 8 | 1
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Psychology Research Institute (PsyRes)
Previous research on the interpersonal effects of emotions in negotiation suggested that bargainers obtain higher outcomes expressing anger, when it is not directed against the counterpart as a person and it is perceived as appropriate. Instead, other studies indicated that successful negotiators express positive emotions. To reconcile this inconsistency, we propose that the direction of the effects of emotions depends on their perceived target, that is, whether the negotiators’ emotions are directed toward their opponent’s proposals or toward their own ‘exit option’. An ultimatum game scenario experiment showed that negotiators who express positive emotion rather than negative, in addition to benefits in terms of relationship fortification, received better offers when participants perceived the negotiators’ emotions directed toward their own ‘exit option’. These findings indicate that positive emotions may signal the availability of better ‘exit option’, suggesting that happiness expressions can be strategically used to maximize both material and relational outcomes.
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