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http://ssrn.com/abstract=1309813
 
 

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Death of a Claim: The Impact of Loss Reactions on Bargaining


Dwight Golann


Suffolk University Law School

December 1, 2008

Negotiation Journal, Vol. 20, p. 539, 2004

Abstract:     
Literature on dispute resolution emphasizes the emotional aspects of conflict. Much of the discussion assumes, however, that disputants' emotions are overt, or at least that parties are aware of their feelings. Writers also suggest that disputants can overcome emotional obstacles through relatively brief interactions, as by "venting" during the opening session of mediation. This article argues that some disputants suffer from a unique emotional reaction that strongly resembles the symptoms of people grieving over the death of a loved one or a fatal illness.

The article describes the psychological findings about reactions to loss by authors such as Freud, Bowlby and Kubler-Ross. It goes on to argue that some disputants avoid dealing with loss by clinging to the hope that they will be vindicated in court. The article describes a series of disabling reactions, similar to Kubler-Ross's five stages of dying, which can occur as a disputant suddenly faces the need to compromise a claim or defense - in effect, the "death of a claim" - to settle. The article concludes by offering advice to negotiators about how to deal with such loss reactions when they occur.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 15

Keywords: neurosis, mourning, grief, grieving, ego, Elizabeth Kubler-Ross, John Bowlby, Sigmund Freud, numbness, denial, depression, divorce, family disputes, psychology, dysfunctional behavior

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Date posted: December 3, 2008  

Suggested Citation

Golann, Dwight, Death of a Claim: The Impact of Loss Reactions on Bargaining (December 1, 2008). Negotiation Journal, Vol. 20, p. 539, 2004. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1309813

Contact Information

Dwight Golann (Contact Author)
Suffolk University Law School ( email )
120 Tremont Street
Boston, MA 02108-4977
United States
617-573-8183 (Phone)
617-305-3086 (Fax)
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