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J Pers Soc Psychol. 2001 Oct;81(4):657-69.

First offers as anchors: the role of perspective-taking and negotiator focus.

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  • 1Department of Management, University of Utah, Salt Lake City 84112-9304, USA.


Three experiments explored the role of first offers, perspective-taking, and negotiator self-focus in determining distributive outcomes in a negotiation. Across 3 experiments, whichever party, the buyer or seller, made the 1st offer obtained a better outcome. In addition, 1st offers were a strong predictor of final settlement prices. However, when the negotiator who did not make a 1st offer focused on information that was inconsistent with the implications of the opponent's 1st offer, the advantageous effect of making the 1st offer was eliminated: Thinking about one's opponent's alternatives to the negotiation (Experiment 1), one's opponent's reservation price (Experiment 2), or one's own target (Experiment 3) all negated the effect of 1st offers on outcomes. These effects occurred for both face-to-face negotiations and E-mail negotiations. Implications for negotiations and perspective-taking are discussed.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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