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
Date Written: June 26, 2011
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.
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