Group Decision and Negotiation

, Volume 23, Issue 4, pp 901–920 | Cite as

“I am Disgusted by Your Proposal”: The Effects of a Strategic Flinch in Negotiations

  • Neil E. FassinaEmail author
  • Glen R. Whyte


To flinch in negotiations refers to verbal or physical displays of shock, disgust, or disbelief made in response to an opening offer. We investigated the impact of advising negotiators to strategically flinch in distributive bargaining. In experiment 1, negotiators who flinched claimed significantly more value than negotiators who did not flinch. Targets of a flinch, however, viewed the negotiation relationship less positively than negotiators in a control condition. Yet, flinching appeared to have no effect on the target negotiators’ perceptions of how well they did. In experiment 2, the notion that a subtle flinch might still facilitate value claiming but without imperilling the bargaining relationship was supported. Implications for negotiation theory and practice, and directions for future research, are discussed.


Negotiation Strategic flinch First offer Distributive Bargaining 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.JR Shaw School of BusinessNorthern Alberta Institute of TechnologyEdmontonCanada
  2. 2.Rotman School of ManagementUniversity of TorontoTorontoCanada

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