- Negotiating deals and settling conflict can create value for both sides
- Policy Insights from the Behavioral and Brain Sciences
- Volume | Issue number
- 1 | 1
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Psychology Research Institute (PsyRes)
Conflicts are mostly wasteful, and deal-making is often not optimal. Yet agreements in international relations, business, and personal relationships show that people can regulate their conflicts of interest and ideology constructively and sometimes to mutual benefit. When individuals, and their groups, create such mutually beneficial, integrative agreements, they promote economic prosperity, stabilize society, and reduce conflict. Key insights from social-psychological science show (a) when and why people initiate negotiation, (b) how negotiators’ cognitive strategies manage complex and uncertain information, and (c) how their goals and motivations can release their capacity to create value in conflict and deal-making. These integrative agreements grow from both concern for own interests and respect for the other side. Reaching integrative agreements is cognitively taxing and difficult, yet facilitated when negotiators adopt long-term perspectives focused on own and others’ interests rather than immediate competing positions. Institutions can help negotiators to seek integrative agreements that benefit all rather than some by nurturing mutual respect and promoting benign, low-pressure environments.
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