The interpersonal effects of emotions in negotiations: a motivated information processing approach

J Pers Soc Psychol. 2004 Oct;87(4):510-28. doi: 10.1037/0022-3514.87.4.510.


Three experiments tested a motivated information processing account of the interpersonal effects of anger and happiness in negotiations. In Experiment 1, participants received information about the opponent's emotion (anger, happiness, or none) in a computer-mediated negotiation. As predicted, they conceded more to an angry opponent than to a happy one (controls falling in between), but only when they had a low (rather than a high) need for cognitive closure. Experiment 2 similarly showed that participants were only affected by the other's emotion under low rather than high time pressure, because time pressure reduced their degree of information processing. Finally, Experiment 3 showed that negotiators were only influenced by their opponent's emotion if they had low (rather than high) power. These results support the motivated information processing model by showing that negotiators are only affected by their opponent's emotions if they are motivated to consider them.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Affect*
  • Cognition
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Interpersonal Relations*
  • Male
  • Mental Processes*
  • Motivation*
  • Negotiating*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires