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Information exchange in negotiation, Journal of Experimental Social Psychology


The research question addressed an apparent lack of supportive empirical evidence for theoretical arguments predicting a relationship between information exchange and successful negotiation outcomes. I examined the effects of two methods of information exchange, providing and seeking information about interests, on the accuracy of negotiators' perceptions of their opponent and negotiation outcomes. The first experiment examined the effects of mutual information exchange: both negotiators were provided with information or both sought information about the other party's interests. The second experiment examined the effects of asymmetric information exchange: one member of the bargaining pair was instructed to either provide or seek information; the other party was not given explicit communication instructions. Both mechanisms, providing information and seeking information, improved the accuracy of negotiators' judgments about the other party and led to more mutually beneficial, integrative negotiation agreements. It was not necessary that both negotiators provide (or seek) information: joint outcomes improved significantly even when only one member of the bargaining pair provided (or sought) information. Negotiators who provided information to the other party did not place themselves at a disadvantage vis a vis their opponent in terms of individual profit. Finally, the accuracy of negotiators' judgments was strongly related to their performance, suggesting that judgment accuracy is a key ingredient for reaching integrative negotiation agreements. I discuss the implications of these results for theories of information exchange in negotiation.




Leigh Thompson

Date Published



Thompson, Leigh. 1991. Information exchange in negotiation. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology. 27(2): 161-179.


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