Are You Angry (Happy, Sad) or Aren’t You? Emotion Detection Difficulty in Email Negotiation
Christoph Laubert, Jennifer Parlamis
Group Decision and Negotiation
Login to get access
This research investigates consistency of emotion detection in email negotiations. Conveying and detecting emotions in negotiation is important because emotions can function strategically. Therefore, this research systematically explores in four separate studies how consistently individuals detect discrete emotions in text-based (email) negotiations. Study 1 compared the ratings from two coders using a high quantity of thought units (n = 1317) and a negative bargaining zone negotiation scenario. In studies 2 and 3, three different negotiation scenarios were explored, first on a thought unit level and then on a message unit level using a hierarchical emotion coding scheme. In all three studies, coders’ perceptions were also compared with the text analysis program LIWC. Study 4 compared coding from seven of the actual negotiators with that of an independent coder and a computerized text program. All four studies found low emotion recognition consistency across 14 different coders with only one negotiation scenario in study 3 showing a moderate level of consistency. Comparisons of computerized coding with human coders did not show improved agreement. High amounts of contrary coding by independent coders were also found. Our research makes an important contribution to the literature by challenging the common assumption that emotions can be reliably detected in email negotiation. Factors that might influence more consistent emotion recognition and conveyance as well as implications for practice and future research are discussed.