Prior research has focused on the influence of emotional expressions on the value of negotiated outcomes. Across three studies, we demonstrate that people interacting with angry counterparts become more likely to walk away from a negotiation, resulting in an impasse. In Study 1, participants who encountered counterparts expressing anger were more likely to choose an impasse, relative to those with neutral counterparts. In Study 2, building on the emotion-as-social-information model, we found that inferences of selfishness mediate the effect of angry expressions on impasses. In Study 3, we found that timing moderates the relationship between angry expressions and impasses. Furthermore, we demonstrated that perceptions of inappropriateness mediate the interactive effect of timing and angry expressions on impasses. Taken together, our work reveals that expressing anger is risky in negotiations because people infer that angry counterparts are selfish and become more likely to exit negotiations.
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In Negotiations, Anger Leads to Impasses