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When asking “What” and “How” helps you win: mimicry of interrogative terms facilitates successful online negotiations

Muir, Kate, Joinson, Adam, Collins, Emily ORCID:, Cotterill, Rachel and Dewdney, Nigel 2020. When asking “What” and “How” helps you win: mimicry of interrogative terms facilitates successful online negotiations. Negotiation and Conflict Management Research 14 (2) , pp. 94-110. 10.1111/ncmr.12179

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Strategic word mimicry during negotiations facilitates better outcomes. We explore mimicry of specific word categories and perceptions of rapport, trust, and liking as underlying mechanisms. Dyads took part in an online negotiation exercise in which word mimicry was manipulated: Participants were instructed to mimic each other’s words (both‐mimic), one participant mimicked the other (half‐mimic), or neither participant mimicked (neither‐mimic). When given a simple instruction to mimic their partner, participants mimicked both the style (personal pronouns, adverbs, linguistic style, interrogative terms) and the content (affiliation terms, power terms, and assents) of their partner’s messages. Mimicry was associated with greater joint and individual points gain and perceptions of rapport from the mimicked partner. Further, mimicry of interrogative terms (e.g., how, why) mediated positive effects of mimicry upon negotiation outcomes, suggesting the coordination of question asking between negotiators is an important strategy to create beneficial interactions and add value in negotiations.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Published Online
Status: Published
Schools: Psychology
Publisher: Wiley
ISSN: 1750-4708
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 17 June 2020
Date of Acceptance: 10 April 2020
Last Modified: 08 May 2023 04:49

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