This article examines the ability of the individual differences, motivational, and cognitive approaches of negotiation to account for empirical research on dyadic negotiation. Investigators have typically focused on objective, economic measures of performance. However, social-psychological measures are important because negotiators often do not have the information necessary to make accurate judgments of the bargaining situation. Negotiators' judgments are biased, and biases are associated with inefficient performance. Personality and individual differences appear to play a minimal role in determining bargaining behavior; their impact may be dampened by several factors, such as homogeneity of subject samples, situational constraints, and self-selection processes. Motivational and cognitive models provide compelling accounts of negotiation behavior. A psychological theory of negotiation should begin at the level of the individual negotiator and should integrate features of motivational and cognitive models.
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