In the time following Election Day, men have become more aggressive when negotiating with women, a study from the Wharton School found.
Wharton Business Economics and Public Policy professor Corinne Low and Wharton doctoral student Jennie Huang conducted a series of lab experiments looking into communication styles between men and women before and after Election Day. In this study, titled “Trumping Norms: Lab evidence on aggressive communication before and after the 2016 US presidential election,” the two researches found that men were more likely to make selfish strategic decisions after Nov. 8 than they were before. According to , the paper will appear in the May edition of American Economics Review.
A group of 232 participants were split into pairs, with each couple given $20 and the objective of splitting the money between them in only one way: One person would get 15 while the other would get only five. Failure to reach a consensus results in neither party receiving a share of the money.
The details and results of the experiments were summarized in a , in which Huang and Low stated that prior to the election, men were more likely to act in a chivalrous manner towards their female partners, shying away from tougher negotiation strategies. However, after the election the general trend of uncooperativeness between participants was particularly driven by the change in the way the men communicated with the women.
“We first establish that, post-election, there is an increase in aggressive behavior and a decrease in cooperative behavior across all treatments,” Low and Huang wrote in the paper. “We then show that the effect is even stronger for men playing against women when the partner’s gender is known.”
However, in an interview with The , Low was cautious in making direct claims linking the rhetoric of President Trump’s campaign to the outcome of the election.
“I’m an economist, so I’m going to stick in my lane,” Low said. “We call the paper Trumping Norms. We find it suggestive that there was some kind of a norm shift ... That suggests who the leader is could matter.”
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