Who Is Taking over Control? A Psychological Perspective in Examining Effects of Agent-Based Negotiation Support Technologies

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Abstract

This paper attempts to understand the effects of agent-based negotiation mechanisms through human’s psychological perspective. We argue that the impact of automated negotiation, despite its efficacy and effectiveness, may result in a shift of negotiators’ beliefs on their control over the choice of negotiation tactics and decision making process; such loss of control in turn causes an increase of user anxiety towards the system. In addition, individual differences, such as negotiators’ decision-making style patterns are posited to moderate the relationship of system types and users’ perceptions. The study involves an experiment employing randomized block design. Findings suggest significant impact of types of negotiation support systems on perceived control, as well as a negative relationship between perceived control and system anxiety. However, the moderating effect of decision-making style patterns is not evident in our data. Discussions and implications are drawn.