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The agreement bias in negotiation: Teams facilitate impasse


This research represents the first empirical investigation of the agreement bias in negotiation. The agreement bias is a negotiation trap characterized by settling for terms that are worse than one's alternatives. Results from two experiments indicated that teams reduce the agreement bias by facilitating impasse in negotiations with a negative bargaining zone. Study 1 found that the addition of a single teammate was sufficient for generating discontinuity between teams and solos in their ability to avoid the agreement bias. Study 2 provided support for two proposed explanations for the agreement bias. Consistent with the faulty-judgment explanation, the role that required the most information processing benefited the most from the addition of a teammate. Consistent with the concern-with-being-liked explanation, solos were perceived as exhibiting more agreeable behavior than teams, and agreeable behavior was associated with a greater likelihood of agreement.



Taya Cohen, Geoffrey Leonardelli, Leigh Thompson

Date Published



Cohen, Taya, Geoffrey Leonardelli, and Leigh Thompson. 2010. The agreement bias in negotiation: Teams facilitate impasse.


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