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CHAPTER FIVE Perception, Cognition, and Emotion


Copyright 2011 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.


Perception, Cognition, and Emotion in Negotiation

The basic building blocks of all social encounters are: Perception Cognition
Framing Cognitive biases



Perception is:
The process by which individuals connect to their environment. A sense-making process


The Process of Perception

The process of ascribing meaning to messages and events is strongly influenced by the perceivers current state of mind, role, and comprehension of earlier communications People interpret their environment in order to respond appropriately The complexity of environments makes it impossible to process all of the information People develop shortcuts to process information and these shortcuts can create perceptual errors


Perceptual Distortion
Four major perceptual errors:
Stereotyping Halo effects Selective perception Projection


Stereotyping and Halo Effects

Is a very common distortion Occurs when an individual assigns attributes to another solely on the basis of the others membership in a particular social or demographic category

Halo effects:
Are similar to stereotypes Occur when an individual generalizes about a variety of attributes based on the knowledge of one attribute of an individual


Selective Perception and Projection

Selective perception:
Perpetuates stereotypes or halo effects The perceiver singles out information that supports a prior belief but filters out contrary information

Arises out of a need to protect ones own self-concept People assign to others the characteristics or feelings that they possess themselves


Represent the subjective mechanism through which people evaluate and make sense out of situations Lead people to pursue or avoid subsequent actions Focus, shape and organize the world around us Make sense of complex realities Define a person, event or process Impart meaning and significance


Types of Frames
Substantive Outcome Aspiration Process Identity Characterization Loss-Gain


How Frames Work in Negotiation

Negotiators can use more than one frame Mismatches in frames between parties are sources of conflict Parties negotiate differently depending on the frame Specific frames may be likely to be used with certain types of issues Particular types of frames may lead to particular types of agreements Parties are likely to assume a particular frame because of various factors


Interests, Rights, and Power

Parties in conflict use one of three frames:
Interests: people talk about their positions but often what is at stake is their underlying interests Rights: people may be concerned about who is right that is, who has legitimacy, who is correct, and what is fair Power: people may wish to resolve a conflict on the basis of who is stronger


The Frame of an Issue Changes as the Negotiation Evolves

Negotiators tend to argue for stock issues or concerns that are raised every time the parties negotiate Each party attempts to make the best possible case for his or her preferred position or perspective Frames may define major shifts and transitions in a complex overall negotiation Multiple agenda items operate to shape issue development


Some Advice about Problem Framing for Negotiators

Frames shape what the parties define as the key issues and how they talk about them Both parties have frames Frames are controllable, at least to some degree Conversations change and transform frames in ways negotiators may not be able to predict but may be able to control Certain frames are more likely than others to lead to certain types of processes and outcomes


Cognitive Biases in Negotiation

Negotiators have a tendency to make systematic errors when they process information. These errors, collectively labeled cognitive biases, tend to impede negotiator performance.


Cognitive Biases
Irrational escalation of commitment Mythical fixed-pie beliefs Anchoring and adjustment Issue framing and risk Availability of information The winners curse Overconfidence The law of small numbers Self-serving biases Endowment effect Ignoring others cognitions Reactive devaluation


Irrational Escalation of Commitment and Mythical Fixed-Pie Beliefs

Irrational escalation of commitment
Negotiators maintain commitment to a course of action even when that commitment constitutes irrational behavior

Mythical fixed-pie beliefs

Negotiators assume that all negotiations (not just some) involve a fixed pie


Anchoring and Adjustment and Issue Framing and Risk

Anchoring and adjustment
The effect of the standard (anchor) against which subsequent adjustments (gains or losses) are measured The anchor might be based on faulty or incomplete information, thus be misleading

Issue framing and risk

Frames can lead people to seek, avoid, or be neutral about risk in decision making and negotiation


Availability of Information and the Winners Curse

Availability of information
Operates when information that is presented in vivid or attention-getting ways becomes easy to recall. Becomes central and critical in evaluating events and options

The winners curse

The tendency to settle quickly on an item and then subsequently feel discomfort about a win that comes too easily


Overconfidence and the Law of Small Numbers

The tendency of negotiators to believe that their ability to be correct or accurate is greater than is actually true

The law of small numbers

The tendency of people to draw conclusions from small sample sizes The smaller sample, the greater the possibility that past lessons will be erroneously used to infer what will happen in the future


Self-Serving Biases and Endowment Effect

Self-serving biases
People often explain another persons behavior by making attributions, either to the person or to the situation There is a tendency to:
Overestimate the role of personal or internal factors Underestimate the role of situational or external factors

Endowment effect
The tendency to overvalue something you own or believe you possess


Ignoring Others Cognitions and Reactive Devaluation

Ignoring others cognitions
Negotiators dont bother to ask about the other partys perceptions and thoughts This leaves them to work with incomplete information, and thus produces faulty results

Reactive devaluation
The process of devaluing the other partys concessions simply because the other party made them


Managing Misperceptions and Cognitive Biases in Negotiation

The best advice that negotiators can follow is:
Be aware of the negative aspects of these biases Discuss them in a structured manner within the team and with counterparts


Mood, Emotion, and Negotiation

The distinction between mood and emotion is based on three characteristics:
Specificity Intensity Duration


Mood, Emotion, and Negotiation

Negotiations create both positive and negative emotions Positive emotions generally have positive consequences for negotiations
They are more likely to lead the parties toward more integrative processes They create a positive attitude toward the other side They promote persistence


Mood, Emotion, and Negotiation

Aspects of the negotiation process can lead to positive emotions
Positive feelings result from fair procedures during negotiation Positive feelings result from favorable social comparison


Mood, Emotion, and Negotiation

Negative emotions generally have negative consequences for negotiations
They may lead parties to define the situation as competitive or distributive They may undermine a negotiators ability to analyze the situation accurately, which adversely affects individual outcomes They may lead parties to escalate the conflict They may lead parties to retaliate and may thwart integrative outcomes Not all negative emotion has the same effect


Mood, Emotion, and Negotiation

Aspects of the negotiation process can lead to negative emotions
Negative emotions may result from a competitive mind-set Negative emotions may result from an impasse Negative emotions may result from the prospect of beginning a negotiation

Effects of positive and negative emotion

Positive feelings may generate negative outcomes Negative feelings may elicit beneficial outcomes

Emotions can be used strategically as negotiation gambits