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Group Decision and Negotiation

, Volume 14, Issue 6, pp 481–500 | Cite as

The Role of Emotions in Envisioning Outcomes in Conflict Analysis

  • Amer Obeidi
  • Keith W. Hipel
  • D. Marc Kilgour
Article

Abstract

A conceptual framework is proposed that accounts for the role of emotions in shaping conflict behavior. The isomorphism between the characteristics that define and drive conflict and those that engender emotions makes it feasible to reconcile emotions with current conflict analysis techniques. Building on Damasio's somatic markers hypothesis, the concept of possibility facilitates modeling the effects of emotion on the scenarios apprehended by the decision makers. Attention is focused on two subsets of the conventional set of feasible states, the hiddenstates that are invisible because of existing emotions (usually negative), and the possiblestates that are invisible because of missing emotions (usually positive). These new concepts can be incorporated within the Graph Model for Conflict Resolution. A model of the confrontation between the United States and North Korea over nuclear weapons demonstrates that the new concepts can simplify analysis and make new predictions that are consistent with the actual unfolding of events. Our main goals are to draw attention to the centrality of emotion in conflict and to the need for research on the incorporation of emotions into conflict analysis and resolution methods.

Keywords

concept of possibility strategic conflict emotion Graph Model for Conflict Resolution appraisal theory 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Amer Obeidi
    • 1
  • Keith W. Hipel
    • 1
  • D. Marc Kilgour
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Systems Design EngineeringUniversity of WaterlooWaterlooCanada
  2. 2.Department of MathematicsWilfrid Laurier UniversityWaterlooCanada

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