When social accounts promote acceptance of unfair ultimatum offers: The role of the victim's stress responses to uncertainty and power position
We examined which type of social account (denying responsibility versus apologizing) following an unfair offer makes recipients more likely to accept the offer in ultimatum bargaining. We identified stress responses to uncertainty as an individual difference factor that should moderate the relative effectiveness of these social accounts. A denial should make acceptance of an unfair offer more likely among recipients who respond to uncertainty with low stress. An apology should make such acceptance more likely among recipients who respond with high stress. Further, we argued that this cross-over interaction should be observed particularly among recipients interacting with a high power allocator. Two ultimatum bargaining experiments supported these ideas. Employing the perspective of victims of unfairness, the present research identifies a relevant individual difference moderator of the effectiveness of social accounts in bargaining situations and identifies power as a situational variable that promotes the expression of this factor.
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