Negotiation: Perception, Cognition & Emotion


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Siena Heights University graduate class on Negotiation as Process based on text (2011) from Lewicki, Saunders and Barry (McGraw-Hill).

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  • The basic building blocks of all social encounters are:Perception: the process by which we connect to our environment, a sense making process.Cognition: The mental processes we all use including attention, memory, producing and understanding language, solving problems, and making decisions, with two subsets:Framing: The strategic use of information with which we evaluate and make sense out of situations, and Cognitive biases: How we process that information.Emotion: While it can be masked, how we experience and express emotion in social encounters certainly has an impact on negotiations.
  • The perception process model above is not dramatically different from many communication models you may have seen in previous classes, with the end however being behavior. The process of ascribing meaning to messages and events is strongly influenced by the perceiver’s 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.
  • Stereotyping is quite common in our organizations and social circles, and shouldn’t need further explanation beyond “don’t do it.”Halo effects are similar to stereotyping, though instead of ascribing attributes to an entire group, but generalize based on that of a person (smiling-honesty example).Selective perception is when we choose data that verifies our prior beliefs, but ignore further evidence to the contrary.Projection is of course when we ascribe to others characteristics or feelings we have, without evidence that they really do.
  • Stereotyping: Occurs when an individual assigns attributes to another solely on the basis of the other’s membership in a particular social or demographic categoryHalo effects: Occur when an individual generalizes about a variety of attributes based on the knowledge of one attribute of an individual.Selective perception: The perceiver singles out information that supports a prior belief but filters out contrary information.Projection: People assign to others the characteristics or feelings that they possess themselves.
  • Substantive relates to key issues of concern.Outcome should be self explanatory for a preferred end result.With aspiration we’re predisposed to basic needs and interests are met rather than a specific outcome.Some negotiators are mostly concerned with the process and the procedures over substance.Frames can be built around identity (such as???).Characterization is how we define the other party, usually negative while identity would be positive.And loss-gain defines the risk/reward of various outcomes.Throughout negotiations it is common that multiple frames will be used, though not necessarily all of them. If we’re not using the same frames at the same time conflict generally results. We negotiate differently depending on the frame we’re using. Certain types of issues cause us to use specific frames (job interview = outcome). Certain frames will lead to certain agreements, i.e. aspiration frames may lead to more integrative agreements. Values, personality, power, social context and history among other factors can all lead us to use certain frames.
  • Interests: people talk about their “positions” but often what is at stake is their underlying interestsRights: people may be concerned about who is “right” – that is, who has legitimacy, who is correct, and what is fairPower: people may wish to resolve a conflict on the basis of who is stronger
  • Negotiators tend to argue for stock issues or concerns that are raised every time the parties negotiateEach party attempts to make the best possible case for his or her preferred position or perspectiveFrames may define major shifts and transitions in a complex overall negotiationMultiple agenda items operate to shape issue development
  • Frames shape what the parties define as the key issues and how they talk about themBoth parties have framesFrames are controllable, at least to some degreeConversations change and transform frames in ways negotiators may not be able to predict but may be able to controlCertain frames are more likely than others to lead to certain types of processes and outcomes
  • Negotiators have a tendency to make systematic errors when they process information. These errors, collectively labeled cognitive biases, tend to impede negotiator performance. Irrational escalation of commitmentNegotiators maintain commitment to a course of action even when that commitment constitutes irrational behaviorMythical fixed-pie beliefsNegotiators assume that all negotiations (not just some) involve a fixed pie 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 misleadingIssue framing and riskFrames can lead people to seek, avoid, or be neutral about risk in decision making and negotiationAvailability of informationOperates when information that is presented in vivid or attention-getting ways becomes easy to recall. Becomes central and critical in evaluating events and options
  • Negotiators have a tendency to make systematic errors when they process information. These errors, collectively labeled cognitive biases, tend to impede negotiator performance. The winner’s curseThe tendency to settle quickly on an item and then subsequently feel discomfort about a win that comes too easilyOverconfidenceThe tendency of negotiators to believe that their ability to be correct or accurate is greater than is actually trueThe law of small numbersThe 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 futureSelf-serving biasesPeople often explain another person’s 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 factorsEndowment effectThe tendency to overvalue something you own or believe you possessIgnoring others’ cognitionsNegotiators don’t bother to ask about the other party’s perceptions and thoughtsThis leaves them to work with incomplete information, and thus produces faulty resultsReactive devaluationThe process of devaluing the other party’s concessions simply because the other party made them
  • Mood states are less intense and more enduring than emotional states, which tend to be more intense and directed at specific targets. Emotions play an important role in negotiation.
  • Negotiations create both positive and negative emotions.
  • Negative emotions generally have negative consequences for negotiationsThey may lead parties to define the situation as competitive or distributiveThey may undermine a negotiator’s ability to analyze the situation accurately, which adversely affects individual outcomesThey may lead parties to escalate the conflictThey may lead parties to retaliate and may thwart integrative outcomesNot all negative emotion has the same effect
  • Aspects of the negotiation process can lead to negative emotionsNegative emotions may result from a competitive mind-setNegative emotions may result from an impasseNegative emotions may result from the prospect of beginning a negotiationEffects of positive and negative emotionPositive feelings may generate negative outcomesNegative feelings may elicit beneficial outcomesEmotions can be used strategically as negotiation gambits
  • Negotiation: Perception, Cognition & Emotion

    1. 1. Perception,Cognition, and Emotion (Lewicki, Saunders & Barry. 2011)
    2. 2. Perception, Cognition, Emotion Social encounters build upon: – Perception – Cognition • Framing • Cognitive biases – Emotion (Lewicki, Saunders & Barry. 2011)
    3. 3. Perception Process (Lewicki, Saunders & Barry. 2011)
    4. 4. Perceptual Distortion• Common errors: – Stereotyping – Halo effects – Selective perception – Projection (Lewicki, Saunders & Barry. 2011)
    5. 5. Perceptual Distortion Stereotyping Reality? HaloProject Effects Selective Perception (Lewicki, Saunders & Barry. 2011)
    6. 6. Framing• Subjective way we evaluate and make sense out of situations• Lead us to pursue or avoid subsequent actions• Focus, shape and organize our paradigms• Make sense of complex realities• Define a person, event or process• Impart meaning and significance (Lewicki, Saunders & Barry. 2011)
    7. 7. Frames Types Use in Negotiations• Substantive  Multiple• Outcome  Mismatches cause conflict• Aspiration  Negotiate differently• Process  Specific with certain types• Identity of issues  Particular frames lead to• Characterization particular agreements• Loss-Gain  Parties assume particular frames for many reasons (Lewicki, Saunders & Barry. 2011)
    8. 8. Interests Rights Power (Lewicki, Saunders & Barry. 2011)
    9. 9. Frames Change as Talks Evolves• Stock issues• Best possible case• Shifts and transitions• Multiple agenda items (Lewicki, Saunders & Barry. 2011)
    10. 10. Framing Summary • Define key issues and discussion • Both sides • Somewhat controllable • Conversations change and transform frames unpredictably, but controllably • Some lead to certain types of processes and outcomes (Lewicki, Saunders & Barry. 2011)
    11. 11. Cognitive Biases• Irrational escalation of commitment• Mythical fixed-pie beliefs• Anchoring and adjustment• Issue framing and risk• Availability of information (Lewicki, Saunders & Barry. 2011)
    12. 12. Cognitive Biases • The winner’s curse • Overconfidence • The law of small numbers • Self-serving biases • Endowment effect • Ignoring others’ cognitions • Reactive devaluation (Lewicki, Saunders & Barry. 2011)
    13. 13. Managing Cognitive Biases• Be aware of the negative aspects of these biases• Discuss them in a structured manner within the team and with counterparts (Lewicki, Saunders & Barry. 2011) 5-13
    14. 14. Mood or Emotion? • Three distinct characteristics: – Specificity – Intensity – Duration (Lewicki, Saunders & Barry. 2011) 5-14
    15. 15. Positive Emotions• Positive emotions – positive consequences – Lead toward more integrative processes – Create a positive attitude toward the other side – Promote persistence – Fair procedures & favorable social comparisons build positive feelings (Lewicki, Saunders & Barry. 2011)
    16. 16. Negative Emotions • Negative emotions - negative consequences – Lead to competitive or distributive negotiations – Degrade situation analysis adversely affecting outcomes – Conflict escalation – Retaliation – Not always (Lewicki, Saunders & Barry. 2011)
    17. 17. Negative Emotions • Process may cause negativity – A competitive mind-set – Impasses – The beginning of negotiation • Effects aren’t absolute – Positive feelings - negative outcomes – Negative feelings - beneficial outcomes • Emotions can be used strategically (Lewicki, Saunders & Barry. 2011)
    18. 18. Are You in Control of You? (Lewicki, Saunders & Barry. 2011)