How to psych out your employer in salary negotiations

Aug. 7, 2011 at 7:52 PM ET

Maybe you were one of those lucky folks who got added to the nation’s payrolls last month.

Now you need to figure out how much you’ll get paid.

PsyBlog, which is devoted to scientific research into how the mind works, recently posted 10 tips for negotiating a better salary, based on psychological research in the art and science of getting more money from your employer.

The findings are fascinating.

For one thing, PsyBlog recommends taking the upper hand in salary negotiations. This includes being prepared to negotiate a higher salary and seeing it as a competition.

Most important, the blog says, you should be the one to suggest the figure you want on your paycheck, and it should be nice and high.

From the blog post:

“The first number that gets mentioned is important because it acts as an anchor against which other numbers are judged. If you allow the other side to set the anchor then they will set it low and grab control of the negotiation.”

The blog also notes that a “win-win” scenario may feel good to you, but it probably won’t net you as high of a salary.

On the other hand, the feel-good move of making a joke — such as about how ridiculous it is that you are asking for that much money — may break the ice and lead to actually getting more money.

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