Angry Faces Win Negotiations

A recent study caught my attention as it deals with two of my favorite topics- negotiation and nonverbal communication.  Previous research has connected the two with respect to:

This current study, conducted at Harvard, connects when negotiator makes an angry facial expression with greater gains.

From redorbit:

Research has found that facial expressions can convey more information than verbal communication alone and a new Harvard University study has found that an angry glare can add effectiveness to a negotiator’s demands. 
Published in Psychological Science, the study found that an angry glare adds additional gravity to a negotiator’s threat to walk away from the talks. The researchers also saw that the glared-at party tended to offer more money than they otherwise would have.
The researchers said they went into their study with the theory that an angry expression would add credibility to a person’s demands – and make it more believable that they would walk away if their demands weren’t met. 
Read more about the study and the findings [HERE].


  1. That's actually really interesting that a mediator with an angry face is more likely to get stuff done! I thought that mediators were supposed to be the unbiased party. However, some conflicts can be longer than they need to be and a mediator can help things move along faster.

  2. Perhaps the angry faced mediator can be perceived as the third party who is to guide those in conflict and to control the heated arguments.


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