Theses Doctoral

The Expectancy Account of Deception in Negotiations

Wiley, Elizabeth Anne

Who lies in negotiations—and when and why? While research has considered many factors, an important and understudied determinant is people’s expectancies about others. I argue that negotiators’ expectations about other people can help predict their own deceptive behavior. Chapter I explores how projection and pessimism shape deceptive behavior. Studies 1a-1d investigated negotiators’ expectancies and found evidence of projection and of rampant pessimism; negotiators consistently overestimated the percentage of other people who shared their own beliefs and the percentage of people who thought deception was appropriate in negotiations. Study 2 found that expectancies about others’ ethical standards predicted the degree to which negotiators were misleading or dishonest in negotiations. Study 3 manipulated expectancies and found that a higher perceived prevalence of gamers led to more misleading or dishonest behavior. Negotiators’ decisions to engage in deception were heavily influenced by an exaggerated pessimism about others’ ethical standards. In supplementary analyses, Chapter I also briefly addresses how expectancies about a specific counterpart’s level of deception shape deceptive behavior. Finally, Chapter II investigates how stereotypes shape deceptive behavior in negotiations, using the stereotype content model, which suggests that social groups are judged on two primary dimensions of warmth and competence. Study 1 provided evidence that deceptive negotiators are perceived to possess less warmth and greater competence than truthful negotiators. Study 2 showed that people from cold competent groups are perceived as more deceptive than people from warm incompetent groups. Study 3 tested actual behavior and demonstrated that manipulating the social category membership of a counterpart affected deception in a negotiation situation. Expectancies play a critical and understudied role in influencing a negotiator’s decision to be deceptive.


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More About This Work

Academic Units
Thesis Advisors
Mason, Malia F.
Ph.D., Columbia University
Published Here
October 24, 2017