Adding Versus Subtracting What Might Have Been: The Impact of Counterfactual Activation on Integrative Negotiations

31 Pages Posted: 25 Jan 2008

See all articles by Laura Kray

Laura Kray

Berkeley-Haas Management of Organizations; UC Berkeley Haas School of Business

Adam D. Galinsky

Columbia Business School - Management

Keith Markman

Ohio University

Date Written: 2007

Abstract

We explored the relationship between counterfactual thinking and the construction of integrative negotiation agreements. Building on past research demonstrating that counterfactual mind-sets promote a structured imagination (Kray, Galinsky, & Wong, 2006), we hypothesized that priming a counterfactual mind-set would impair the construction of novel solutions to conflict at the bargaining table. To test this hypothesis, in Experiment 1 we manipulated counterfactual thinking prior to a dyadic negotiation task. We showed that dyads primed to think counterfactually prior to the negotiation were less likely to create integrative agreements. In Experiment 2 we examined whether this effect was moderated by the additive versus subtractive nature of counterfactual thoughts. By directing participants to generate upward counterfactual thoughts about a previous negotiation that specified what they might versus might not have done to improve their performance, we tested this hypothesis. Dyads that produced subtractive counterfactuals prior to negotiating were less like to create integrative agreements than dyads that produced additive counterfactuals.

Suggested Citation

Kray, Laura and Galinsky, Adam D. and Markman, Keith, Adding Versus Subtracting What Might Have Been: The Impact of Counterfactual Activation on Integrative Negotiations (2007). IACM 2007 Meetings Paper. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1080634 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1080634

Laura Kray (Contact Author)

Berkeley-Haas Management of Organizations ( email )

545 Student Services Building
Berkeley, CA 94720
United States

HOME PAGE: http://facultybio.haas.berkeley.edu/faculty-list/kray-laura

UC Berkeley Haas School of Business ( email )

545 Student Services Building, #1900
2220 Piedmont Avenue
Berkeley, CA 94720
United States

Adam D. Galinsky

Columbia Business School - Management ( email )

3022 Broadway
New York, NY 10027
United States

Keith Markman

Ohio University ( email )

Athens, OH 45701-2979
United States

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