About TEEM

By on / Research Projects, Trust, Emotions, Ethics and Morality in Negotiation (TEEM)

TEEM focuses on a number of moderately related topics, but does not plan on being “all things to all people.” There is a lot of good research on the psychology of negotiation that does not fit this project (e.g., clinical approaches), as well as other work that does not rely upon experimental methods. TEEM’s goal is to have a concentrated effect by supporting research related to the five project co-directors and their colleagues. Collectively, this will connect the Program on Negotiation (PON) to a group of over 25 researchers in the Harvard community (through the collaborations of the five co-directors)—and to many others at leading universities around the country and world.

Some of the research questions TEEM will address include:

1. The interaction between trust and its alternatives (e.g., contracts, monitoring, hedging, building outside options, etc.). How should we manage the negotiation process in order to make efficient use of these various tools? What effect do more formal contract enforcement mechanisms have on trust and trustworthiness?

2. The meaning and role of trust in different cultures (e.g., the Arab world) and across genders.

3. How to negotiate in ways that increase trust at the back end. What approaches, strategies, and tactics will build trust in the context of negotiation?

4. The effect of trust on perceptions and judgments of others and their behavior. Are high-trust interactions more or less prone to biased perceptions? Do people who trust each other interpret each other’s moves in a negotiation more benevolently and does this improve negotiation outcomes?

5. Identifying strategies for negotiating in the context of distrust by reducing distrust or leveraging alternatives to trust.

Morality and Ethics in Negotiation
1. The effects of different moral mindsets (utilitarian vs. deontological) on negotiation outcomes.

2. The role of punishment and its relation to the representation of intentions in the context of economic games.

3. The role of moral judgments on the distribution of resources (e.g., deontological concerns for rights/equality/fairness vs. the utilitarian “greater good.”)

4. The identification of the systematic ways in which negotiators act in unethical ways without their own awareness.

5. The role of conflicts of interest in negotiated agreements.

Emotions in Negotiation
1. The effects of specific emotions in games (e.g., ultimatum) and negotiations.

2. The effects of accountability on negotiator behavior.

3. The propensity to initiate negotiation as a function of specific emotional states.

4. The effects of emotion suppression vs. expression in negotiation.

5. The role of emotion in third-party punishment.

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