Article | Journal of Management | June 2008

Psychological Influence in Negotiation: An Introduction Long Overdue

by Deepak Malhotra and Max H. Bazerman


This paper discusses the causes and consequences of the (surprisingly) limited extent to which social influence research has penetrated the field of negotiation and then presents a framework for bridging the gap between these two literatures. The paper notes that one of the reasons for its limited impact on negotiation research is that extant research on social influence focuses almost exclusively on economic or structural levers of influence. With this in mind, the paper seeks to achieve five objectives: (1) Define the domain of psychological influence as consisting of those tactics which do not require the influencer to change the economic or structural aspects of the bargaining situation in order to persuade the target; (2) Review prior research on behavioral decision making to identify ideas that may be relevant to the domain of psychological influence; (3) Provide a series of examples of how behavioral decision research can be leveraged to create psychological influence tactics for use in negotiation; (4) Consider the other side of influence, i.e., how targets of influence might defend against the tactics herein considered; and (5) Consider some of the ethical issues surrounding the use of psychological influence in negotiation.

Keywords: Social Issues; Research; Framework; Negotiation Tactics; Decisions; Power and Influence; Behavior; Ethics;


Malhotra, Deepak, and Max H. Bazerman. "Psychological Influence in Negotiation: An Introduction Long Overdue." Journal of Management 34, no. 3 (June 2008): 509–531.