I’m Not Angry with You, I’m Disappointed: The Effects of Reciprocal and Complementary Emotions Evoked by Anger and Disappointment in Negotiations

Posted: 26 Jun 2011

See all articles by Gert-Jan Lelieveld

Gert-Jan Lelieveld

Leiden University

Eric van Dijk

Leiden University

Ilja van Beest

Tilburg University

Gerben A. van Kleef

University of Amsterdam - Department of Psychology

Date Written: June 26, 2011

Abstract

In two experiments we investigated the interpersonal effects of anger and disappointment in negotiations. Whereas previous research has focused on the informational inferences bargainers make following emotions, we emphasize the importance of the affective reactions to others’ emotions. Our findings show that whereas anger evoked a complementary emotion (fear) in targets when communicated by a person in a high-power position, it evoked a reciprocal emotion (anger) when communicated by a low-power person. This reciprocal anger led participants to offer less to low-power counterparts who expressed anger. Expressions of disappointment, on the other hand, evoked a complementary emotion (guilt) in participants and increased offers, regardless of the expresser’s power position. Our findings support the notion that it is essential to distinguish between different types of discrete emotions and to not only consider the valence of emotions. A practical implication is that the communication of disappointment may be a better alternative than the communication of anger.

Suggested Citation

Lelieveld, Gert-Jan and van Dijk, Eric and van Beest, Ilja and van Kleef, Gerben A., I’m Not Angry with You, I’m Disappointed: The Effects of Reciprocal and Complementary Emotions Evoked by Anger and Disappointment in Negotiations (June 26, 2011). IACM 24th Annual Conference Paper. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1872766 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1872766

Gert-Jan Lelieveld (Contact Author)

Leiden University ( email )

Postbus 9500
Leiden, 2300 RA
Netherlands

Eric van Dijk

Leiden University ( email )

Postbus 9500
Leiden, 2300 RA
Netherlands

Ilja van Beest

Tilburg University ( email )

P.O. Box 90153
Tilburg, DC 5000 LE
Netherlands

Gerben A. Van Kleef

University of Amsterdam - Department of Psychology ( email )

Roetersstraat 15
Amsterdam, 1018 WB
Netherlands
+31 20 525 6633 (Phone)
+31 20 639 0531 (Fax)

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