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IACM 2023

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Beyond Propensity: Documenting The Staggering Pervasiveness of Negotiation Avoidance

The benefits of negotiating are well documented. However, many people choose not to negotiate when given the opportunity. We believe that this behavior is not a small segment of society but rather a significant majority. Although research exists on specific factors that influence the propensity of various groups to negotiate, the literature lacks documentation of the broad, fundamental tendency of humans in various societies to avoid negotiating at significant cost. Across 5 studies with 5,881 Americans, we find that 95% of individuals choose not to negotiate up to 51% of the time (Study 1), that there is a psychological threshold (TFI)—irrationally influenced by item price—at which people believe negotiation becomes worthwhile (Study 2), and that 49.7% of adults are willing to actually pay a price-contingent sum of money to avoid negotiating (Study 3). Finally, we test two possible interventions to encourage individuals to negotiate (Studies 4 and 5).

David Hunsaker
NYU Stern

Hong Zhang
Leuphana University

Alice Lee
Cornell University
United States


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