Take Action

Home | Faculty & Research Overview | Research

Research Details

A Look into the Mind of the Negotiator: Mental Models in Negotiation, Group Processes & Intergroup Relations


Negotiation can be conceptualized as a problem-solving enterprise in which mental models guide behavior. We examined the association between negotiation outcomes and mental models, as measured by negotiator's associative networks. Four hypotheses were supported. First, negotiators who reached optimal settlements had mental models that reflected greater understanding of the negotiation's payoff structure, and of the processes of trading and exchanging information, compared to negotiators who did not reach optimal settlements. Second, negotiators who reached optimal settlements exhibited greater within-dyad mental model similarity. Third, experience-based training was more likely than instruction-based training to produce mental models similar to the mental models of negotiators who actually reached optimal settlements. Finally, negotiators who received 10 weeks of experience-based training had mental models that were similar to novice negotiators who reached optimal settlements, except that the mental models of the experienced negotiators were more abstract.




Leaf Van Boven, Leigh Thompson

Date Published



Van Boven, Leaf, and Leigh Thompson. 2003. A Look into the Mind of the Negotiator: Mental Models in Negotiation. Group Processes & Intergroup Relations. 6(4): 387-404.


Explore leading research and ideas

Find articles, podcast episodes, and videos that spark ideas in lifelong learners, and inspire those looking to advance in their careers.
learn more


Review Courses & Schedules

Access information about specific courses and their schedules by viewing the interactive course scheduler tool.


Discover the path to your goals

Whether you choose our Full-Time, Part-Time or Executive MBA program, you’ll enjoy the same unparalleled education, exceptional faculty and distinctive culture.
learn more

Take Action