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Motivational Primes, Trust, and Negotiators' Reactions to a Crises


Journal of Conflict Resolution

Published online on


Using a simulated bilateral negotiation over several security issues, the authors explore how variations in the negotiation context influence reactions to a negotiatinga crisis. Negotiators were primed to focus on one of three aspects of the context: transaction costs, dependence, or shared identity. They were asked to respond to the crisis with a decision to reach an immediate agreement, continue negotiating, or reframe the issues. The results showed that mutual dependence (unattractive alternatives) led to reframing (turning points) whereas high transaction costs led to a preference for continuing the negotiation. Shared identity did not affect negotiators preference across alternative courses of action. Affective trust amplified the impact of dependence and transaction costs: the decision to reframe was made more often by negotiators who reported low affective trust, whereas the decision to reach immediate agreement was made more often by negotiators who reported high affective trust. High cognitive trust encouraged negotiators to continue the negotiation if they had a shared identity or if transaction costs were high. Applications were made to real-world cases and implications were developed for Relational Order theory and for further research.