How the Quality of Third Parties' Settlement Solutions Are Affected by the Relationship between Negotiators, Journal of Experimental Psychology: Applied
Observers watched videotapes of people negotiating. In half of the videotapes, the negotiators had a negative relationship; in the other half, the negotiators had a positive relationship. Some observers believed that the relationship was a genuine reflection of how the parties felt about one another; others were told that the behavior of negotiators was strategic- i.e., used by parties to gain advantage. Following the tape, observers recommended a settlement. Observers' suggestions were most efficient when the negotiators' relationship was positive and genuine; observers proposed significantly worse solutions when negotiators' relationships were negative and genuine. We advise mediators to focus on the issues rather than the emotional tone, and avoid the correspondence bias when observing conflicts among parties with negative relationships.
Leigh Thompson, Peter H. Kim
Thompson, Leigh, and Peter H. Kim. 2000. How the Quality of Third Parties' Settlement Solutions Are Affected by the Relationship between Negotiators. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Applied. 6(1): 3-14.