Life Hack: always give a range when asked…

…how much you want for your salary, or when you offer something for sale on Craigslist.
This study used MTurk to conduct simulations with a partner on MTurk. According to the write up

Respondents were asked not just what they thought their negotiation partner’s reservation price (that is, lowest acceptable offer) was, but also questions designed to reveal how they perceived their partner — the researchers wanted to know whether certain negotiation tactics, even if they might work in squeezing a few more dollars out of your partner, might incur a likability cost.

Overall, their results suggest that range offers are the way to go. If you’re selling a laptop on Craigslist and hoping to get $400 for it, then all things being equal, you’re better off asking for “Between $400 and $440” than simply $400 — you’ll likely get more for the laptop, and there’s little evidence you’ll be seen in a worse light. You can’t draw perfectly straight lines between this sort of study and real-world negotiations, of course, but the researchers are pretty sure they know what’s going on here: Simply put, the presence of two values causes the perception of the reservation price to climb upward a bit relative to what it would be if only the lower number were there.

Well that’s interesting.

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