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Steering sheep: How expressed emotional ambivalence elicits dominance in interdependent decision making contexts

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  • Rothman, Naomi B.

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Rothman, Naomi B., 2011. "Steering sheep: How expressed emotional ambivalence elicits dominance in interdependent decision making contexts," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 116(1), pages 66-82, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jobhdp:v:116:y:2011:i:1:p:66-82
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Aaker, Jennifer L. & Drolet, Aimee L. & Griffin, Dale, 2008. "Recalling Mixed Emotions," Research Papers 1913, Stanford University, Graduate School of Business.
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    4. Kopelman, Shirli & Rosette, Ashleigh Shelby & Thompson, Leigh, 2006. "The three faces of Eve: Strategic displays of positive, negative, and neutral emotions in negotiations," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 99(1), pages 81-101, January.
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    Cited by:

    1. Schniter, Eric & Sheremeta, Roman M. & Shields, Timothy W., 2015. "Conflicted emotions following trust-based interaction," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 51(C), pages 48-65.
    2. Blader, Steven L. & Wiesenfeld, Batia M. & Fortin, Marion & Wheeler-Smith, Sara L., 2013. "Fairness lies in the heart of the beholder: How the social emotions of third parties influence reactions to injustice," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 121(1), pages 62-80.
    3. Barasch, Alixandra & Levine, Emma E. & Schweitzer, Maurice E., 2016. "Bliss is ignorance: How the magnitude of expressed happiness influences perceived naiveté and interpersonal exploitation," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 137(C), pages 184-206.
    4. Rothman, Naomi B. & Northcraft, Gregory B., 2015. "Unlocking integrative potential: Expressed emotional ambivalence and negotiation outcomes," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 126(C), pages 65-76.

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