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The tactical utilization of cognitive biases in negotiations


  • Rhode, Alexander
  • Schönbohm, Avo
  • van Vliet, Jacobus


The present paper conceptualizes the domain of psychological influence in negotiations and thereby proposes seven negotiations tactics which utilize the findings of cognitive bias research. After reviewing existing literature on cognitive biases in negotiations, the paper argues that their persuasive utilization in negotiations has not been discussed extensively so far. Inspired by the research findings on anchoring in negotiations, the paper develops tactics which alter information sets of counterparties in such a way that their decision making becomes biased, but leave their incentive structures untouched. The theoretical foundations of these value-claiming tactics are accompanied by short examples, where bargainers play on the cognitive biases of their counterparties to sell proposals and persuade reluctant counterparties. The authors thus explain the effectiveness of widely used negotiation tactics and allow a greater understanding of negotiators' decision making processes and provide recommendations for practitioners.

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  • Rhode, Alexander & Schönbohm, Avo & van Vliet, Jacobus, 2014. "The tactical utilization of cognitive biases in negotiations," Working Papers 80, Berlin School of Economics and Law, Institute of Management Berlin (IMB).
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:imbwps:80

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    1. Botond Kőszegi & Matthew Rabin, 2006. "A Model of Reference-Dependent Preferences," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 121(4), pages 1133-1165.
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    3. Kahneman, Daniel & Tversky, Amos, 1979. "Prospect Theory: An Analysis of Decision under Risk," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(2), pages 263-291, March.
    4. Kahneman, Daniel & Knetsch, Jack L & Thaler, Richard H, 1990. "Experimental Tests of the Endowment Effect and the Coase Theorem," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(6), pages 1325-1348, December.
    5. Daniel Kahneman & Jack L. Knetsch & Richard H. Thaler, 1991. "Anomalies: The Endowment Effect, Loss Aversion, and Status Quo Bias," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 5(1), pages 193-206, Winter.
    6. Huber, Joel & Payne, John W & Puto, Christopher, 1982. " Adding Asymmetrically Dominated Alternatives: Violations of Regularity and the Similarity Hypothesis," Journal of Consumer Research, Oxford University Press, vol. 9(1), pages 90-98, June.
    7. Amos Tversky & Itamar Simonson, 1993. "Context-Dependent Preferences," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 39(10), pages 1179-1189, October.
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