Negotiation in Triads: Communication Constraints and Tradeoff Structure

Linda Gary Palmer*, Leigh Thompson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Researchers examined the impact of communication constraints and tradeoff structures on negotiations within 3-member groups in a simulated architectural firm. Groups were faced with the task of designing a house to meet a client's needs and budget constraints. Groups restricted to dyadic-only communication (between 2 members at any given time) perceived other group members and themselves to be more competitive than groups that engaged in full-group communication (3 members present). When groups were allowed to communicate in full, they were more likely to discover circular tradeoffs than reciprocal tradeoffs; however, when communication was restricted to dyadic interactions, reciprocal tradeoffs were more likely than circular tradeoffs. Joint profit was greater for tasks requiring reciprocal rather than circular tradeoffs. Furthermore, reciprocal tradeoff structures led to a more equal division of profits among group members than did circular tradeoffs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)83-94
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Experimental Psychology: Applied
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 1 1995

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology


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