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Negotiation Terminology


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Confirmation Bias
A tendency for people to seek support for their beliefs that may lead them to overlook or discount relevant information that contradicts or challenges their beliefs.
The tendency for people to view their experiences in a way that is flattering toward or fulfilling for themselves.
A decision-making process by which two or more people agree on how to allocate scarce resources
proactive strategy
Negotiation strategy that anticipates the reactions of the opponent
reactive strategy
Negotiation strategy that is dependent on the actions and reactions of the opponent
A decision-making approach that involves doing just enough to arrive at a reasonable solution, but not an optimal one.
Acronym for a negotiator's best alternative to a negotiated agreement
consensus conflict
Conflict that occurs when one person's opinions,ideas, or beliefs are incompatible with those of another.
contractual risk
A situation in which settlement outcomes are determined with uncertainty at the time of settlement
counterfactual thinking
The act of thinking about how things might have turned out differently
dispute situation
A negotiation that takes place because a claim that has been made by one party has been rejected by another party.
fixed-pie perception
The belief that the other party's interests are directly and completely opposed to one's own.
hidden table
The negotiations that take place behind the scene between a principal and his or her constituents.
linkage effects
A phenomenon that refers to the fact that some negotiations will affect other negotiations, i.e. resolutions in one situation will have implications for a future situation.
monolithic party
A member of a group that acts as a single unit; i.e. there is no divergence within the group
A participant in conflict. Parties can be individuals, groups, organizations, communities, or nations.
preference reversals
Inconsistencies in choice that are produced when subtle wording differences lead people to make different judgments
reactive devaluation
The tendency for people to devalue an option previously considered to be more attractive, merely as a consequence of it being offered by the other side.
reservation point
The point at which a negotiator is indifferent between reaching a settlement and walking away from the bargaining table
risk aversion
Preference for a sure thing rather than a gamble that has an equal or greater expected value.
scarce resource conflict
Conflict or competition that exists when people perceive one another as desiring the same limited resource.
sure thing principle
A principle that states that if alternative "x" is preferred to "y", in the condition that some event, "a", occurs, and if "x" is also preferred to "y" in the condition that some event, "a", does not occur, then "x" should be preferred to "y", even when it is not know whether "a" will occur.
winner's curse
A situation in which a negotiator makes an offer that is immediately accepted by the opponent, thus signaling the fact that the negotiator offered too much.
bargaining surplus
The amount of overlap between parties' reservation points. AKA "the pie"
bargaining zone or settlement zone
The region between parties' reservation points in which a final settlement should be obtained.
A bargaining style named for a former CEO of General Electric, in which one's first offer is one's final offer.
degree of concessions
Extent to which one party has conceded from an initial stated position
equality rule
A principle that prescribes equal shares for all.
equity rule
A principle that prescribes that distribution of resources should be proportional to a person's contribution.
graduated reduction in tension model (GRIT)
Unilateral conciliatory actions designed to de-escalate a conflict.
A person who prefers to split resources equally, except in antagonistic relationships
mixed-motive negotiation
A negotiation in which parties want to cooperate with their opponent to reach mutual agreement, but must compete to maximize their share of the joint gain.
needs-based rule
A rule that states that the benefits people receive should be proportional to their needs; also called welfare-based allocation.
negative bargaining zone
A negotiation situation in which there is no positive overlap between parties' reservation points.
negotiation dance
The process of making offers and counteroffers in a negotiation and ending up w/ a mutually agreeable settlement
negotiator's surplus
The positive difference between the settlement outcome and the negotiator's reservation point.
pattern of concessions
In negotiation, the sequence of consecutive concessions made by parties.
ruthless competitor
A person who prefers to have more resources than the other party, regardless of relationship
In negotiations, a person who prefers to split resources equally no matter whether the relationship with another party is positive, negative, or neutral
suboptimal outcome
In negotiation, an outcome in which negotiators leave money on the table, reach an impasse, or are generally worse off not reaching agreement than reaching agreement.
contingency contracts
Agreements wherein negotiators make bets based on their differences in beliefs, forecasts, risk profiles, and interests. Capitalizes on differences. Conditions and measurements should be spelled out in advance. Dates and timelines shoul be agreed upon.
false conflict or illusory conflict
A situation in which conflict does not exist between people, yet they erroneously perceive the presence of conflict.
illusion of transparency
The tendency of negotiators to believe that they are revealing more information than they actually are; i.e. they believe that others have access to information about them when they in fact do not.
inductive reasoning
The process by which a negotiator unilaterally deduces what the other party's true interests are and where the joint gains are by listening to their responses in negotiation.
integrative negotiation
A process by which negotiators seek to expand the amount of available resources.
issue mix
The union of both parties' issue sets.
lose-lose effect
The tendency for negotiators to settle for outcomes that both prefer less than some other readily available outcome.
multiple simultaneous offers
A strategy that involves a negotiator simultaneously presenting the other party with two or more proposals of equal value to him- or herslef.
pareto-optimal frontier
A situation in which no other feasible agreement exists that would improve one party's outcome while simultaneously not hurting the other party's outcome. Level 3 of pyramid model.
postsettlement settlements
Strategies in which negotiators reach a binding settlement, but agree to explore other options with the goal of finding another that both prefer more than the current one; if one is not found, the current settlement is imposed.
premature concessions
Making concessions on issues before they are even requested.
Division of large, all-encompassing issues into smaller, more manageable ones.
win-win negotiation
Negotiations in which the parties craft outcomes that are better for both sides than an even split (dividing resources in half). All creative opportunities are exploited and no resources are left on the table - integrative negotiation
presettlement settlements (PreSS)
Formal, partial settlements that occur in advance of the parties' undertaking full-scale negotiations, designed to be replaced by a long-term, formal agreement.
A rights-based procedure in which disputants present evidence and arguments to a neutral third party who has the power to hand down a binding decision.
competitive negotiator
A negotiator who prefers to maximize the winning margin or "beat" the other side.
cooperative negotiator
A negotiator who prefers to maximize equality and minimize the difference between negotiators' outcomes.
door-in-the-face technique
A persuasion tactic in which a person makes an initial, extreme request to another party, making it more likely that they will secure agreement to a subsequent, smaller request.
individualistic negotiator
A negotiator who prefers to maximize his or her own goals and has little or no concern for how much the other person is getting.
interests-based approach
Focusing on the other party's underlying needs, desires, and concerns in negotiation and attempting to reconcile differing interests among parties in a way that addresses parties' most pressing needs and concerns.
power-based approach
Attempting to resolve disputes by analyzing status, rank, and other types of power; and attempting to coerce the other party to settle on terms that are more satisfactory to the wielder of power.
rights-based approach
Applying standards of fairness to an analysis of negotiation, including terms specified by contracts, legal rights, precedent, or expectations based on norms.
squeeky wheel principle
A principle stating that a negotiator should demonstrate an unwillingness to move away from a stated position by escalating the level of hostility and by making threats.
A social skill having to do with verbal and nonverbal expressiveness.
Expressions on a person's face that show for a very short amount of time (about one-tenth of a second) and reveal how a person is truly feeling.
nonverbal expressions
The way in which people express themselves through nonverbal communication (e.g. gestures, vocal cues, facial expressions, posture, eye contact, touching, interpersonal spacing, or body movement)
nonverbal reception
The way in which people receive and recognize nonverbal communication and cues fom a sender.
A method by which a person uses several approaches to arrive at an accurate judgment.
A-type conflict or emotional conflict
Defensive, personal conflict rooted in anger, personal friction, personality clases, ego, and tension. Also known as effective conflict.
breach or defection
The act of maximizing one's own interests at the expense of another person or group.
C-type conflict or cognitive conflict
Largely depersonalized conflict consisting of argumentation about the merits of ideas, plans, and projects.
communal norms
Norms that operate in personal relationships, prescribing that we should take care of the people we love and are cose to, respond to their needs, and not "keep track" of who has provided what in the relationship.
disposition attribution
An attribution that calls into question another person's character and intentions by citing them as the cause of a behavior or incident
embedded relationship
A relationship between parties that is both personal (e.g. friends or family) and business related.
exchange norms
Norms that operate in relationships, concerning the giving and taking of benefits and resources.
fear of conflict
The belief that conflict is dysfunctional and therefore should be avoided.
fork-tailed effect
A tendency to see people as having other undesirable characteristics in completely unrelated domains once we have identified one negative trait.
functional distance
The effort involved in crossing a physical distance and how it corresponds to communication (e.g., two offices separated by 10 feet of space are easier to make contact between then are two offices separated by a one-foot-thick, solid brick wall.)
halo effect
The assumption that if people possess one socially desirable characteristic, then they also must possess other attractive traits.
market pricing
A method of putting value on things in which everything is reduced to a single value or utility metric that allows for the comparison of many qualitatively and quantitatively diverse factors.
propinquity effect
The strong tendency for people to like, and become friends with, people that are physically and/or geographically closer to them.
A psychological principle stating that people often have a negative reaction when they perceive that their freedom is being limited or their behavior is being controlled; hence, they will engage in the opposite of the bahaviors that surveillance is either attempting to ensure or control.
reciprocity principle
A situation in which we feel obligated to return in kind what others have offered or given to us.
similarity-attraction effect
The tendency for people who are similar to each other to like and be attracted to one another.
social contagion
The tendency for people involved in face-to-face interaction to mirror one another in posture, facial expression, tone of voice, and mannerisms.
swift trust
The mechanism that allows people who have had little or no previous interaction to build trust quickly.
active misrepresentation
A strategy in which a negotiator deliberately misleads his or her opponent.
boundary spanners
Individuals (and groups) able to span across organizational divides and bridges the knowledge, innovation, and best practices from different areas of the organization.
contrast effect
A negotiation technique by which one party invents and proposes irrelevant alternatives for the opponent to consider, knowing that the opponent will find them unacceptable and therefore consider any subsequent offeres more acceptable than he or she would consider them in the absence of other alternatives.
foot-in-the-door technique
A technique in which a person is asked to agree to a small favor and then is confronted with a larger request; people who accede to the small favor first are more likely to agree to the larger request later.
human capital
The value people add to their teams and organizations through their individual abilities and skills.
A colloquialism that refers to the strategy of repeatedly asking for more favors or resources after a negotiation has presumably ended.
norm of reciprocity
A norm stating that human beings feel obligated to return, in kind, what others have offered or given to them.
passive misrepresentation
A strategy in which a negotiator does not convey his or her true preferences and allows the other party to arrive at an erroneous conclusion.
primary status characteristics
Marks and indicators of legitimate authority that are relevant to accomplishing a specific task; e.g. rank, title, previous experience, etc.
reactance technique
A negotiation strategy also known as "reverse psychology", wherein a negotiator plays on the opponent's innate need to assert his or her individual freedom when it is threatened or controlled.
reference point
A focal amount of the pertinent outcome, at which smaller amounts are considered losses and larger amounts considered gains.
secondary status characteristics
Highly visible personal qualities (such as sex, age, or ethnicity) that have little to do with a person's authority, legitimacy, or ability, but are often treated as though they do.
self-fulfilling prophecy
A situation that occurs when the beliefs held by a perceiver elicit behavior from a target person in a manner that confirms the perceiver's expectations.
single-text strategy
A negotiation strategy in which each negotiator reads and works off a shared document.
social capital
The value a manager adds to his or her team and organization through his or her coordination of, and ties to, other people and organizations.
social proof principle
A situation in which we look to the behavior of others to determine what is desirable, appropriate, or correct.
stereotype threat
The phenomenon whereby a person is more vulnerable to fulfilling a stereotype if they are made aware that the activity in which they are engaged is relevant to that specific stereotype.
that's-not-all technique or sweetening the deal
A technique in which negotiators will offer to add more to a negotiating package or deal in order to persuade the other party to accept it.
unconscious priming
The process by which subtle cues and information in the environment can impact our behavior (at a level below our conscious awareness)
approach-approach conflict
A type of intrapersonal conflict in which we are attracted to two (or more) options, but may choose only one.
betweenness axiom
An axiom stating that if "x" is preferred to "y", then "x" must be preferred to any probability mixture of "x" and "y", which in turn must be preferred to "y".
certainty effect
A principle stating that people overweight guaranteed outcomes relative to outcomes that are merely probable.
compound gamble
Gambles in which the outcomes themselves are gambles, rather than pure outcomes.
concave function
Situation in which a person's utility for money decreases marginally; additional monetary gains bring smaller increases in satisfaction.
continuity axiom
In utility theory, an axiom stating that for any set of outcomes, a decision maker should always prefer a gamble between the best and worst outcome to a sure intermediate outcome if the odds of the best outcome are good enough.
crossover point
The point at which subjective weights are exactly identical to objective probability.
diminishing marginal utility
The tendency for increasing units of a resource (e.g. money) to result in decreasing levels of satisfaction.
dominance principle
A principle stating that one alternative dominates another if it is just as good on all pertinent aspect dimensions and better on at least one.
expected utility theory (EU)
The amount of satisfaction of the potential outcomes of a prospect, each weighted by its probability.
expected-value principle
A principle stating that the expected value of a prospect is the sum of the objective values of the outcomes multiplied by the probability of their occurance.
independence of irrelevant alternative axiom
An axiom stating that the best outcome in a feasible set of outcomes will also be the best outcome in any smaller subset of feasible outcomes that still contains that outcome.
The inability to predict negotiation outcomes
law of large numbers
A principle stating that the mean return will get closer and closer to its expected value the more times a gamble is repeated.
multiattribute utility technique (MAUT)
A method of analyzing decision situation, involving four main tasks: (1) indentifying the alternatives; (2) identifying dimensions or attributes of the alternatives; (3) evaluating the utility associated with each dimension; (4)weighting or prioritizing each dimension in terms of importance.
Nash solution
A solution that postulates that the agreement point of a negotiation will satisfy the following five axioms: uniqueness, pareto-optimality; symmetry, independence of equivalent utility representations, and independence of irrelevant alternatives. It specifies the outcome of a negotiation if the negotiators behave rationally.
pareto-efficient frontier
The set of outcomes corresponding to the entire set of agreements that leaves no portion of the total amount of resources unallocated.
reducibility axiom
An axiom stating that if two risky alternatives include identical and equally probable outcomes among their possible consequences, then the utility of these outcomes should be ignored in choosing between these two options.
regressiveness principle
A principle in which extreme values of some quantity do not deviate very much from the average value of that quantity.
risk attitude
A person's preferences concerning outcomes that are gambles and sure outcome of equal expected value.
risk neutral or risk indifferent
Indifference between a gamble and sure outcome of equal expected value
risk seeking
Preference for a gamble rather than a sure thing.
St. Petersburg Paradox
The observed reluctance to play a game of chance, despite its infinite expected value.
In prospect theory, the observation that people's subjective weightings for mutually exclusive and exhaustive events do no sum to 1.
substitutability axiom
An axiom stating the gambles that have outcomes about which people are indifferent are interchangeable.
transitivity property
A property stating that if a person prefers option "x" to "y", and option "y" to option "z", then he or she should prefer "x" to "z"
uniqueness axiom
An axiom stating that there is only one unique best solution to each bargaining situation or game.
utility function
The quantification of a person's preferences, with respect to certain objects.

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