Positive Affect and Decision Frame in Negotiation

University of Southern California – Department of Management and Organization

Group Decision and Negotiation, Forthcoming


This study examined decision frame (-gain- vs. -loss-) and negotiator affect (positive vs. control) in a simulated bilateral negotiation where negotiators dealt with a programmed opponent and made offers and counteroffers on three issues that differed in value. Direct comparisons between the gain and loss frame conditions, in the control-affect condition, revealed a replication of the standard frame effect: a loss frame produced fewer concessions than a gain frame. However, an interaction effect indicated that the frame effect reversed in the positive affect condition: under positive affect, a loss frame produced greater concessions than a gain frame. In addition, the data indicated a replication of earlier work showing that positive affect can lead to more integrative agreements in negotiation. The results suggest that positive affect can influence location of a reference point in evaluating prospective outcomes; one implication is that prospect theory can be useful for understanding the effects of affect in bilateral negotiation.

Positive Affect and Decision Frame in Negotiation

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