Several experiments provided evidence that negotiators make systematic errors in personality-trait attributions for the bargaining behaviors of their counterparts. Although basic negotiation behavior is highly determined by bargaining positions, negotiators primarily interpret their counterpart's behavior in terms of the counterpart's personality, such as his or her level of cooperativeness or agreeableness. Data support a model of 4 processes that contribute to misperceptions: (a) the primacy of situations in determining bargaining behavior, (b) the primacy of personality traits in attributions, (c) the lack of sufficient information about the other's situation to discount personality attributions, and (d) the potentially self-confirming consequences of personality attributions for subsequent interactions. The authors discuss implications for research areas such as social cognition in negotiation, accuracy in social perception, and dynamics of belief confirmation.

Michael Morris, Richard Larrick, and S. Su
Journal Article
Publication Date
Journal of Personality and Social Psychology

Full Citation

Morris, Michael, Richard Larrick, and S. Su
. “Misperceiving negotiation counterparts: When situationally determined bargaining behaviors are attributed to personality traits.”
Journal of Personality and Social Psychology
, (July 01, 1999):