Steering sheep: How expressed emotional ambivalence elicits dominance in interdependent decision making contexts
This research proposes that expressed emotional ambivalence elicits greater dominance in observers than expressed happiness or anger because ambivalence conveys deliberation and therefore submissiveness. Four laboratory studies yielded convergent findings across different measures of dominance and manipulations of emotional expressions (videos and vignettes). Study 1 showed that participants can identify the expression of tension and conflict as ambivalence and can reliably distinguish ambivalence expressions from the expression of a related emotion (sadness), as well as unrelated emotions (happiness and anger). Study 2 showed that participants intended to dominate the ambivalent partner significantly more than the happy, angry, or non-emotional partner. Study 3 provides evidence that negotiators dominated the ambivalent partner because they perceived the ambivalent partner as more deliberative, and thus submissive. Study 4 confirmed - using a different manipulation of ambivalence - that expressed ambivalence leads to perceived submissiveness because it suggests greater deliberation.
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Volume (Year): 116 (2011)
Issue (Month): 1 (September)
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