1 ñeioúator rstypiciirfuncertaiñabouthis

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-'-1\ 'ñeioÚator-rs'typIc~iIrfunce'rtaiñ~'about"his-c~iI~i'~;p;:~t~'r~ser~ vation value and aspirations. His own aspirations follow, in part, from these uncertain perceptions. And, a1though Chapter Three ad~ vised negotiators to assess their reservation values, social psychologi- cal experiments on "limits" (bottom lines or reservation values) sug- gest that "a bargainer without a limit seems totally plausible, especially in the earlier phases of the negotiation."17 In practice, therefore, reservation values and aspirations sometimes have a lot of give. When there is considerable uncertainty, a strong opening offer can sharply anchor perceptions of the bargaining set and aspira- tions. 18 Prenegotiation tactics, initial discussions, and opening offers by the counterparts can favorably anchor a negotiator's perception of these values, cause him to reduce his own aspirations, and alter his reservation value. The building owner who demands $600,000, ar- gues forcefully that this price is fair and reasonable, refuses for weeks to listen to other offers, and keeps returning discussions to his $600,000 price may strongly anchor toward $600,000 potential buyers' perceptions of what the owner will accept. Their original aspiration to pay much less will also likely be revised. 19 17Pruitt (1981:27). 18This application of the anchoring phenomenon is confirmed by a study on ne- gotiating behavior un con cerned with anchoring. Liebert, Smith, Hill and Keiffer (1968) conclude that bargainers in a distributive bargain who had little information about the bargaining range tended to use the counterpart's opening bid to set their own aspirations while bargainers well-informed about the bargaining range used the counterpart's offer to assess the reasonableness of the counterpart's aspirations. 19A number of the cognitive deficiencies studied by Kahneman and Tversky (see Kahneman and Tversky, 1972, 1979; Kahneman and Tversky, 1974; Kahneman, Slovic, and Tversky, 1982) and by Bazerman (1983) and Bazerman and Neale (1983) have implications for offensive and defensive tactics. For example, people tend to be risk-averse when a gamble is presented as a potential gain and risk-prone when the
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136 Negotiation Analysis COUNTEROFFERS Experiments by Howard Raiffa on distributive bargains suggest that the point midway between two opening offers is not abad pre- dictor of where a final negotiated settlement will fall-providing the midpoint lies inside the zone of possible agreement,2o These results imply that a good response to an initial offer should be chosen so that the midpoint between the two offers is at the negotiator's aspira- tion leve!. To prevent one's own perceptions from being unfavorably an- chored, defensive tactics are called for. lf the other party opens with an extreme offer, one should focus attention away from it. Rather than letting the offer shift one's aspirations, one should effectively dismiss it by directing discussion toward a much more favorable coun teroff er.
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