Date of this Version
Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes
Trash-talking increases the psychological stakes of competition and motivates targets to outperform their opponents. In Studies 1 and 2, participants in a competition who were targets of trash-talking outperformed participants who faced the same economic incentives, but were not targets of trash-talking. Perceptions of rivalry mediate the relationship between trash-talking and effort-based performance. In Study 3, we find that targets of trash-talking were particularly motivated to punish their opponents and see them lose. In Study 4, we identify a boundary condition, and show that trash-talking increases effort in competitive interactions, but incivility decreases effort in cooperative interactions. In Study 5, we find that targets of trash-talking were more likely to cheat in a competition than were participants who received neutral messages. In Study 6, we demonstrate that trash-talking harms performance when the performance task involves creativity. Taken together, our findings reveal that trash-talking is a common workplace behavior that can foster rivalry and motivate both constructive and destructive behavior.
© 2017. This manuscript version is made available under the CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0 license http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/
Incivility, rivalry, competition, effort, motivation, cheating, ethics, creativity, aggression, communication, conflict, negotiation, cooperation
Yip, J. A., Schweitzer, M. E., & Nurmohamed, S. (2017). Trash-Talking: Competitive Incivility Motivates Rivalry, Performance, and Unethical Behavior. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.obhdp.2017.06.002
Date Posted: 27 November 2017
This document has been peer reviewed.