The practice of negotiation and bargaining is an essential skill for humans in a social existence. As the processes of negotiation help to define society’s winners and losers, it is important to understand how personal and social attributes relate to negotiation strategies and success. Previous research has documented a complex relationship between gender and negotiation, bargaining styles, motivations, and success. The present study examined gender and negotiation in the real-life context of college grade negotiations. 189 college students voluntarily completed a survey on their experiences with college grade negotiations, including whether or not they questioned a grade, their success in obtaining a grade change, and the strategies used during negotiation. As predicted by previous research, gender of the student and gender of the professor were not significant predictors of a student’s propensity to negotiate grade concerns. Gender was found to be a significant predictor of negotiation success. Female students were found to be more successful in obtaining a grade change than male students, and this difference was more evident when negotiations occurred with a male professor than with a female professor. Furthermore, researchers found a complex relationship between negotiation strategies and the genders of both professor and student, supporting the notion that negotiation behaviors and success are related to the social identities and situations of both sides of the bargaining table.
Gina Cesaretti, ’99 Brooklyn Park, MN
Majors: Politics, Psychology
Sponsor: Suzette Astley