Behaviour Change

PROPAGANDA FOR CHANGE is a project created by the students of Behaviour Change (ps359) and Professor Thomas Hills @thomhills at the Psychology Department of the University of Warwick. This work was supported by funding from Warwick's Institute for Advanced Teaching and Learning.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Cultural differences in giving bargains

Apart from Russell Peters racist comments, his humor is an accurate portrayal of various cultures. This video highlights the fact that Indians cannot live without a bargain and Chinese don’t like to give a bargain. This was highlighted when Russell asked for a reduction in price for a bag that cost $35, sold by a Chinese man. This process involved two main negotiation techniques, which in the end didn’t even yield a successful buy.

The first technique used, involved a higher authority. When Russell asked the Chinese man to reduce the price he responded by saying he will confront his wife first. This is used as a delaying tactic, and gives the buyer an impression that they can’t talk to the real decision maker. As a result, the buyer feels pressured to negotiate at a price with the seller to avoid the delay and unpredictability of the situation (Schatzki, 2004).

The second technique used was knowing your best alternatives to the negotiated agreement (BATNA). In this case, when Russell asked for a further reduction in the discounted price the chinese man indicated that he was providing the best deal for the bag compared to alternatives. However Russell didn’t know the price of his alternatives so he was pressured to give into the price. According to Brett, Pinkley and Jackofsky ( 1996),  negotiators with BATNA have higher individual outcomes than those who don’t. Therefore in this case Russell didn’t know his BATNA and therefore was more unable to get what he wanted when negotiating.

In conclusion, by using the authoritative figure the buyer felt like he was in a weaker position which can make the buyer give into the seller more. Secondly knowing their BATNA would put the buyer in a stronger position to bargain as they know what they are competing against.


Schatzki, Michael. (2004). Managing the Sales Negotiation Process. The Negotiator Magazine.

Brett, J. F., Pinkley, R. L., & Jackofsky, E. F. (1996). Alternatives to having a BATNA in dyadic negotiation: The influence of goals, self-efficacy, and alternatives on negotiated outcomes. International Journal of Conflict Management7(2), 121-138.

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