– 25 --
The Psychology of Negotiation:Using
Persuasion to Negotiate More Effectively
Editors’ Note: We know instinctively that not everyone is persuaded by the same set of facts or the same type of argument. Shestowsky explains the two different types of audiences we typically face in a negotiation, and provides pointers on how to persuade in a way that will be most effective to each audience. This chapter should be read in conjunction with Perceptions & Stories by Heen & Stone and Getting your Way by Guthrie.
Persuasion is part art and part science. It is art in that some negotiators use the same persuasion strategy more subtly than others or have a knack for quickly changing strategies when it is called for during a negotiation. It is science in that many persuasion strategies are reliably more successful when certain conditions are met or when they are used on a certain type of person. Good negotiators have a feel for the art of persuasion; expert negotiators make use of the science behind it.
To become an expert, it is critical to understand how to use persuasion psychology in ways that deliver proactive as well as reactive advantages. Proactively, incorporating psychological principles into your negotiation toolkit can help you to advocate more persuasively for your own proposals. Reactively, knowledge of these principles and how they work can help you identify—and guard against—situations in which others are subtly attempting to persuade you against your best interests. Overall, the ability to recognize and respond appropriately to persuasive attempts can mean the difference between being at their mercy and resisting their appeal.
What are the big lessons stemming from psychological research, and how can you use these lessons to improve your negotiation strategy? This chapter answers these questions by summarizing the relevant empirical research into four main takeaways.
Takeaway 1: Sometimes Strong Arguments Fail to Persuade
Have you ever negotiated with someone who was not persuaded by the merits of your proposals, even when they were objectively win-win and you made the strongest, most logical arguments to support them? Sometimes this situation arises because the opposing party is simply irrational [NDR: Jeglic & Jeglic, Mental Health]. More often than not, however, other persuasion tools were probably what you needed to persuade them. Research on the Elaboration Likelihood Model (ELM),1 arguably the most significant contribution to our understanding of persuasion in the past 30 or so years, posits that there are two routes to persuasion—one that relies on argument quality and one that does not.2 These two routes—central and peripheral—are differentiated by the level of cognitive processing (i.e., amount of conscious examination or “elaboration” of the underlying message) that is undertaken by the target of a persuasive communication (Petty and Cacioppo 1986). Negotiators who engage in “central processing” are likely to carefully consider the merits of your proposals and be persuaded by “strong” arguments. Those who rely on “peripheral processing” are less effortful in their thinking. They are more readily persuaded by “weak” arguments and how arguments are “packaged.” In this line of research, weak arguments are simple statements and restatements of belief that appear (to a trained outside observer) to be specious, irrelevant, or illogical, whereas “strong” ones offer clear, logical, and relevant reasons for the stated position (Baron et al. 1994).
To persuade someone via the central route (i.e., using strong arguments), that person must be both able and motivated to think deeply (Petty and Cacioppo 1986). “Ability” in this sense involves not only dispositional or personality factors such as intellectual ability (i.e., the mental capacity to understand and evaluate your proposals), but situational factors as well. When negotiators are tired, hungry, distracted, or preoccupied by other projects or personal matters, they are in a situation that makes them less able to identify your arguments as strong ones. Similarly, the relevant “motivation” can be prompted by situational factors, such as when the negotiator views the issues on the table as highly personally relevant [NDR: Deutsch, Internal Conflict] (Petty and Cacioppo 1979; 1981; 1990), or it may derive from personality traits....
For full contents please purchase The Negotiator’s Desk Reference.
Baron, R., H. Logan, J. Lilly, M. Inman and M. Brennan. 1994. Negative Emotion and Message Processing. In Journal of Experimental Social Psychology 30(2): 181.
Bhappu, A. and Z. Barsness. 2006. Risks of E-Mail. In The Negotiator’s Fieldbook: The Desk Reference for the Experienced Negotiator, edited by A. K. Schneider and C. Honeyman. Washington D.C.: American Bar Association Section of Dispute Resolution.
Brinol, P., D. D. Rucker, Z. L. Tormala and R. E. Petty. 2004. Individual Differences in Resistance to Persuasion: The Role of Beliefs and Meta-beliefs. In Resistance and Persuasion, edited by E. Knowles and J. A. Linn. Mahwah: Lawrence Erlhbaum Associates.
Cacioppo, J. T. and R. E. Petty. 1982. The Need for Cognition. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 42(1): 116-131.
Cacioppo, J. T., R. E. Petty, J. A. Feinstein and W. B. G. Jarvis. 1996. Dispositional Differences in Cognitive Motivation: The Life and Times of Individuals Varying in Need for Cognition. Psychology Bulletin 119(2): 197-253.
Chaiken, S. 1979. Communicator Physical Attractiveness and Persuasion. In Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 37(8): 1387-1397.
Chaiken, S. 1987. The Heuristic Model of Persuasion. In M. P. Zanna and J. M. Olson (eds.), Social Influence: The Ontario Symposium 5: 3-39.
Chaiken, S. L., D. H. Gruendfeld and C. M. Judd. 2000. Persuasion in Negotiations and Conflict Situations. In The Handbook of Conflict Resolution: Theory and Practice, edited by M. Deutsch and P. T. Coleman. New York: Jossey-Bass.
Dabbs, Jr., M. James and I. L. Janis. 1965. Why Does Eating While Reading Facilitate Opinion Change?—An Experimental Inquiry. In Journal of Experimental Social Psychology 1(2): 133-144.
Di Blasio, P. and L. Milani. 2008. Computer-Mediated Communication and Persuasion: Peripheral vs. Central Route to Opinion Shift. In Computers in Human Behavior 24(3): 798-815.
Haugtvedt, C. P. and R. E. Petty. 1992. Personality and Persuasion: Need for Cognition Moderates the Persistence and Resistance of Attitude Changes. In Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 63(2): 308-319.
Hollenbeck, J. R., C. R. Williams and H. J. Klein. 1989. An Empirical Examination of the Antecedents of Commitment to Difficult Goals. In Journal of Applied Psychology 74(1): 18-23.
Jeglic, E. L. and A. A. Jeglic. 2006. Negotiating with Disordered People. In The Negotiator’s Fieldbook, edited by A. K. Schneider and C. Honeyman.
Karau, S. J. and K. D. Williams. 1993. Social Loafing: A Meta-Analytic Review and Theoretical Integration. In Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 65(4): 681-706.
Latané, B., K. Williams and S. Harkins. 1979. Many Hands Make Light the Work: The Causes and Consequences of Social Loafing. In Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 37(6): 822-832.
Linz, D. and S. Penrod. 1984. Increasing Attorney Persuasiveness in the Courtroom. In Law and Psychology Review 8: 1-47.
Matheson, K. and M. P. Zanna. 1989. Persuasion as a Function of Self-Awareness in Computer-Mediated Communication. In Social Behavior 4(2): 99-111.
Petty, R. E. and J. T. Cacioppo. 1981. Attitudes and Persuasion: Classic and Contemporary Approaches. Boulder: Westview Press Attitudes.
Petty, R. E. and J. T. Cacioppo. 1986. Communication and Persuasion: Central and Peripheral Routes to Attitude Change.
Petty, R. E. and J. T. Cacioppo. 1986. The Elaboration-Likelihood Model of Persuasion. In Advances in Experimental Social Psychology, edited by L. Berkowitz.
Petty, R. E. and J. T. Cacioppo. 1990. Involvement and Persuasion: Tradition Versus Integration. Psychology Bulletin 107(3): 367-374.
Petty, R. E. and J. T. Cacioppo. 1979. Issue Involvement Can Increase or Decrease Persuasion by Enhancing Message-Relevant Cognitive Response. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 37(10): 1915-1926.
Petty, R. E. and J. T. Cacioppo. 1981. Personal Involvement as a Determinant of Argument-based Persuasion. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 41(5): 847-855.
Petty, R. E., J. T. Cacioppo, A. J. Strathman and J. R. Priester. 2005. To Think or Not to Think: Exploring Two Routes to Persuasion. In Persuasion: Psychological Insights and Perspectives, 2nd edn. edited by T. C. Brock & M.C. Green. Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications.
Petty, R. E., S. G. Harkins and K. D. Williams. 1980. The Effects of Group Diffusion of Cognitive Effort on Attitudes: An Information-Processing View. In Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 38(1): 81-92.
Petty, R. E., C. P. Haugtvedt and S. M. Smith. 1995. Elaboration as a Determinant of Attitude Strength: Creating Attitudes that are Persistent, Resistant, and Predictive of Behavior. In Attitude Strength: Antecedents and Consequences, edited by R. E. Petty and J. A. Krosnick.
Petty, R. E., D. W. Schumann, S. A. Richmand and A. J. Strathman. 1993. Positive Mood and Persuasion: Different Roles for Affect Under High- and Low- Elaboration Conditions. In Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 64(1): 5-20.
Reinhard, M., M. Messner and S. L. Sporer. 2006. Explicit Persuasive Intent and Its Impact on Success at Persuasion—The Determining Roles of Attractiveness and Likeableness. In Journal of Consumer Psychology 16(3): 249-259.
Shestowsky, D. and L. Horowitz. 2004. How the Need for Cognition Scale Predicts Behavior in Mock Jury Deliberations. In Law and Human Behavior 28(3): 305-337.
Shestowsky, D., D. T. Wegener and L. R. Fabrigar. 1998. Need for Cognition and Interpersonal Influence: Individual Differences in Impact on Dyadic Decision. In Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 74(5): 1317-1328.
Smith, C. T. and De Houwer. 2014. The Impact of Persuasive Messages on IAT Performance is Moderated by Source Attractiveness and Likeability. In Social Psychology 45(6): 437-448.
Smith, E. R. and D. M. Mackie. 2000. Social Psychology, 2nd Ed. Hove, UK: Psychology Press.
Smith, S. M. and D. R. Shaffer. 1995. Speed of Speech and Persuasion: Evidence for Multiple Effects. In Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin 21(10): 1051-1060.