When Asking "What" and "How" Helps You Win: Mimicry of Interrogative Terms Facilitates Successful Online Negotiations
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.
Keywords: language style matching, linguistic style, negotiations, interpersonal impressions, rapport, question asking, mimicry
How to Cite:
Muir, K. & Joinson, A. & Collins, E. & Cotterill, R. & Dewdney, N., (2020) “When Asking "What" and "How" Helps You Win: Mimicry of Interrogative Terms Facilitates Successful Online Negotiations”, Negotiation and Conflict Management Research 14(2). doi: https://doi.org/10.34891/462f-w824