Unfairness, anger, and spite

Emotional rejections of ultimatum offers

Madan M. Pillutla, J. Keith Murnighan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

488 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This paper addresses an anomaly in experimental economics, the rejection of ultimatum offers, and uses a psychological explanation for this essentially economic event. The wounded pride/spite model predicts that informed, knowledgeable respondents may react to small ultimatum offers by perceiving them as unfair, feeling anger, and acting spitefully. Results of a large scale experiment support the model, showing that rejections were most frequent when respondents could evaluate the fairness of their offers and attribute responsibility to offerers. In addition, anger was a better explanation of the rejections than perceptions that the offers were unfair. The discussion addresses the rarely studied but frequently observed emotions that negotiations provoke.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)208-224
Number of pages17
JournalOrganizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes
Volume68
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 1996

Fingerprint

Anger
Emotions
Economics
Negotiating
Psychology
Rejection (Psychology)
Spite
Emotion
Ultimatum
Surveys and Questionnaires
Experimental economics
Pride
Fairness
Psychological
Experiment
Anomaly
Responsibility

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management

Cite this

Pillutla, Madan M. ; Murnighan, J. Keith. / Unfairness, anger, and spite : Emotional rejections of ultimatum offers. In: Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes. 1996 ; Vol. 68, No. 3. pp. 208-224.
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Unfairness, anger, and spite : Emotional rejections of ultimatum offers. / Pillutla, Madan M.; Murnighan, J. Keith.

In: Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Vol. 68, No. 3, 01.01.1996, p. 208-224.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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