Power, Propensity to Negotiate, and Moving First in Competitive Interactions

Magee, J.C., Galinsky, A. & Gruenfeld, D.
Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin.

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.

Wagner Faculty