Eve's emancipation or lingering subordination to Adam?

Gil Aloni (Department of Psychology, Haifa University, Haifa, Israel)
Helena Syna Desivilya (Department of Sociology and Anthropology, Max Stern Academic College of Emek Yezreel, Yezreel Valley, Israel)

International Journal of Conflict Management

ISSN: 1044-4068

Publication date: 28 June 2013



The current study aims to examine couples' conjoint negotiation with a third party, testing the effects of asymmetrical contextual ambiguity, gender stereotypes' priming and egalitarianism. It predicted differences in the processes of decision making between egalitarian and traditional couples, reflected in choices of female or male negotiator.


Egalitarianism levels were measured by the Altrocchi and Crosby Marriage Questionnaire. The asymmetrical contextual ambiguity was manipulated through two newly constructed negotiation cases – one feminine‐stereotyped and the other masculine‐stereotyped, based on Miles and LaSalle. Priming of gender stereotypes was manipulated using two passages inducing explicit or implicit priming, based on Kray, Galinsky and Thompson. Primary statistical analysis was χ2 test for equal proportions.


The hypotheses were by and large supported: as expected in all four experimental conditions, traditional couples chose men as their negotiator. By contrast, egalitarian couples tended to nominate their negotiator depending on the situation (feminine, masculine, and under implicit priming). In addition, under explicit priming their selection was in the predicted direction but not significant.

Practical implications

This study provides insights with respect to effective ways to conduct conjoint negotiations. In addition, it indicates the need to enhance women's negotiation self‐efficacy, so that they can become more active in negotiation processes.


The current study explored real‐life couples' conjoint negotiation with a third party, rather than examining couples' internal negotiation processes or individuals' dyadic negotiation, which prevailed in extant research. Future research should adopt the focus on genuine couples' conjoint negotiation, employed in this study.



Aloni, G. and Syna Desivilya, H. (2013), "Eve's emancipation or lingering subordination to Adam?", International Journal of Conflict Management, Vol. 24 No. 3, pp. 284-306. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJCMA-10-2011-0070

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