Friday, May 12, 2006

Going grrrr can be grrrreat in some conversations

Most of us know that if we're angry it isn't always easy to make our point in a discussion (and research seems to support this), but what about if we're only pretending to be angry?

If we put on an angry face and behave in an angry fashion (without actually losing control) can we get better results in some conversational situations? Research from the British Psychological Society's research digest seems to suggest that such an angry act can get us results.

“Whereas feeling angry has been shown to lead to bad negotiation outcomes, we showed that expressing anger can lead to good negotiation outcomes” said researchers Marwan Sinaceur and Larissa Tiedens.
First they asked 157 students to imagine they were a salesman for a technology company, and to read a fictional account of a negation between themselves and a buyer. Afterwards, the students who read a version in which the buyer got angry agreed to more concessions than the students who read a version in which he stayed calm, but only if they were told beforehand that their business was struggling at the moment.
Could we apply some of these findings to conversation analysis ourselves, or perhaps link it to what we've seen with The Apprentice and the boardroom showdowns at the end of each episode?

Useful for:
ENA3 - Interacting through language

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