The Illusion of Transparency in Negotiations

Leaf Van Boven*, Thomas Gilovich, Victoria Husted Medvec

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


The authors examined whether negotiators are prone to an "illusion of transparency," or the belief that their private thoughts and feelings are more discernible to their negotiation partners than they actually are. In Study One, negotiators who were trying to conceal their preferences thought that their preferences had "leaked out" more than they actually did. In Study Two, experienced negotiators who were trying to convey information about some of their preferences overestimated their partners' ability to discern them. The results of Study Three rule out the possibility that the findings are simply the result of the curse of knowledge, or the projection of one's own knowledge onto others. Discussion explores how the illusion of transparency might impede negotiators' success.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)117-131
Number of pages15
JournalNegotiation Journal
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2003

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Social Sciences
  • Strategy and Management
  • Management of Technology and Innovation


Dive into the research topics of 'The Illusion of Transparency in Negotiations'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this