Power, Propensity to Negotiate, and Moving First in Competitive Interactions
Five experiments investigated how the possession and experience of power affects the initiation of competitive interaction. In Experiments 1a and 1b, high-power individuals displayed a greater propensity to initiate a negotiation than did low-power individuals. Three additional experiments showed that power increased the likelihood of making the first move in a variety of competitive interactions. In Experiment 2, participants who were semantically primed with power were nearly 4 times as likely as participants in a control condition to choose to make the opening arguments in a debate competition scenario. In Experiment 3, negotiators with strong alternatives to a negotiation were more than 3 times as likely to spontaneously express an intention to make the first offer compared to participants who lacked any alternatives. Experiment 4 showed that high-power negotiators were more likely than low-power negotiators to actually make the first offer and that making the first offer produced a bargaining advantage.