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Blowback: Retaliating against Anger Expressions in Group Decision Making and The Role of Gender
Bridging the literature of group decision and negotiations, we studied anger expressions in decision-making groups and the influences of gender. In three experiments on groups with one agenda setter and three voters, we manipulated anger expressions by group members. We reached four major findings. 1) Expressing anger made the recipients demand more as agenda setters and less likely to vote “yes” as voters. This detrimental effect was labelled as the “blowback effect”. 2) Gender played an important role in the process. In our studies, women used fewer anger expressions compared to men, but they expressed anger more authentically and reacted to others’ anger expressions more competitively. 3) We proposed and tested a modified version of Emotion as Social Information model (EASI, van Kleef, 2007) to explain the mechanisms of the blowback effect. 4) We took efforts in uncovering the dynamics of expressing and reacting to anger in group decision making.