Silence Helps Men but Hurts Women: The Differential Gender Effects of Silence in Negotiation

Zhiying (Bella) Ren, PhD Candidate at the Wharton School, and Maurice Schweitzer, Operations, Information and Decisions, The Wharton School

Abstract: Current literature consistently shows a gender gap in people’s performance in negotiation. In this research, we aim to use a GPT Negotiation Bot to understand whether men and women may be perceived differently when they use silence — a common and important conversation strategy — in negotiation. We predict that when men use silence to respond to an offer in negotiation, they will be perceived as having more power and will receive a better outcome than when they do not use silence; however, we argue that this effect will reverse for women. Our research shed lights on an important topic and make novel methodological contributions.