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
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.