Published: April 29, 2020

The influence of race in negotiations has remained relatively underexplored. Across three studies, we theorize and find that Black job seekers are expected to negotiate less than their White counterparts and are penalized in negotiations with lower salary outcomes when this expectation is violated; especially when they negotiate with an evaluator who is more racially biased (i.e., higher in social dominance orientation). Specifically, on the basis of the prescriptive stereotype held by those higher in racial bias—that Black (as compared to White) negotiators deserve lower salaries—we predicted that Black negotiators who behave in counterstereotypical ways encounter greater resistance and more unfavorable outcomes from more biased evaluators. We tested this argument in a stepwise fashion: In Study 1, we found that more biased evaluators expect Black job seekers to negotiate less as compared to White job seekers. When Black negotiators violate those expectations, evaluators award them lower starting salaries (Study 2), which appears to occur because evaluators become more resistant to making concessions to Black than to White job seekers (Study 3). Collectively, our findings demonstrate that racially biased perceptual distortions can be used to justify the provision of smaller monetary awards for Black job seekers in negotiations.

Hernandez, M., Avery, D. R., Volpone, S. D., & Kaiser, C. R. (2019). Bargaining while Black: The role of race in salary negotiations. Journal of Applied Psychology,

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