|dc.description.abstract||As consequential negotiations pervade our personal and professional relationships, it is important to understand the shortcomings that stand in the way of our ability to communicate successfully in these goal driven interactions. Through my dissertation, I argue that social perceptions become particularly important in mixed motive contexts where we communicate to fulfil our individual goals through both competition and cooperation with others. Drawing upon prior work and utilizing my own experimental data in the field and laboratory, I explore how the ways in which we communicate affect negotiation behavior, with consequences that are unforeseen and mis-predicted by the communicators themselves.
Chapter 1 begins with an introduction and summary of the following three chapters. Chapter 2 provides a broader overview of psychological challenges to optimal negotiation behavior. I draw from past theoretical and empirical work to illustrate how cognitive biases, affect, and social perceptions can stand in the way of our ability to negotiate successfully. In the next two chapters, I take an empirical approach looking at the surprising inferences negotiatiors make about each other based on both strategic and inadvertent communication cues. In Chapter 3, I look at the effect of taking on a “warm and friendly” versus “tough and firm” communication style in distributive negotiations, where first offers are held constant and concession patterns are tracked. Through four empirical studies, I find that “tough” negotiators end up with better economic outcomes than “warm” negotiators, at no detectable social cost, an effect negotiators are inaccurate in predicting. In Chapter 4, I study how first offer values affect perceptions of the offer-maker’s trustworthiness and their counterpart’s behavior towards them. Through four empirical studies, I find that recipients of generous offers are more likely to make themselves economically vulnerable to their counterparts, exhibiting behaviors with potentially deleterious consequences, such as disclosing negative information.||