Emotional Dynamics in Conflict and Negotiation: Individual, Dyadic, and Group Processes
Posted: 13 Feb 2018
Date Written: January 2018
Conflict is an emotional enterprise. We provide an integrative synthesis of theory and research on emotional dynamics in conflict and negotiation at three levels of analysis: the individual, the dyad, and the group. At the individual level, experienced moods and emotions shape negotiators' cognition and behavior. At the dyadic level, emotional expressions influence counterparts' cognitive, affective, and behavioral responses. At the group level, patterns of emotional experience and/or expression can instigate cooperation, coordination, and conformity, or competition, conflict, and deviance. Intrapersonal (individual-level) effects of diffuse moods can be explained by affect priming and affect-as-information models, whereas effects of discrete emotions are better explained by the appraisal-tendency framework. Interpersonal (dyadic- and group-level) effects of emotions are mediated by affective (e.g., emotional contagion) and inferential (e.g., reverse appraisal) responses, whose relative predictive power can be understood through the lens of emotions as social information (EASI) theory. We offer a critical assessment of the current literature, discuss practical implications for negotiation and conflict management, and sketch an agenda for future research.
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