, Volume 1, Issue 3, pp 243-267

An experimental study of alternative preparation aids for international negotiations

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We test the relative effectiveness of alternative preparation aids in the context of an international negotiation. We consider three forms of training: reading material, a course on negotiation, and an expert system (NEGOTEX) expressly designed to train negotiators. We conducted a laboratory experiment involving 66 pairs of negotiators—one of each pair being American and the other Chinese. Results suggest that in this context, the course had the greatest effect on performance, followed by NEGOTEX, and then followed by reading material. In addition, we found that training effects were additive: multiple forms of training lead to better results than individual forms of training, suggesting that (1) training forms complement and do not substitute for one another, and (2) multiple forms of training should be considered, especially when stakes are high.