- When competition breeds equality: effects of appetitive versus aversive competition in negotiation
- Journal of Experimental Social Psychology
- Volume | Issue number
- 47 | 6
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Psychology Research Institute (PsyRes)
Competitive motivation is prevalent in negotiation but systematic insight into its effects is missing. We introduce the distinction between appetitive competition, in which negotiators seek relative gain, and aversive competition, in which negotiators seek to prevent relative loss. Two experiments tested the predictions that (i) appetitive competitors are less vigilant and more confident than aversive competitors, and are (ii) therefore more likely to reach an agreement. However, we further hypothesized that (iii) information about one's opponent undermines appetitive competitors' confidence, yet enables trust in aversive competitors. Results supported these predictions. Appetitive competitors more often reached an impasse than aversive competitors when information was provided about the opponent, whereas aversive competitors more often reached an impasse without this information.
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