Group Decision and Negotiation

, Volume 27, Issue 2, pp 179–196 | Cite as

A Satisfied Mind: Motivational Orientation, Feedback and the Subjective Value of Negotiation Outcomes

  • Mara OlekalnsEmail author
  • Philip L. Smith


Although negotiation research has systematically investigated the factors that contribute to negotiators’ satisfaction with economic outcomes, relatively less attention has been given to the factors that influence their satisfaction with social outcomes. In this research, we used a computer-based task to present pairs of outcomes (own outcome, other’s outcome) to participants and asked them to rate their satisfaction with their own outcomes, their self-image and an opponent’s perceived willingness to negotiate in the future. Because satisfaction is context-sensitive, we tested how two factors influenced these ratings: motivational orientation, whether negotiators held cooperative or individualistic goals, and feedback, whether negotiators received feedback only about an opponent’s economic outcome or received feedback about both an opponent’s economic outcome and satisfaction with the outcome. Our analysis showed informative parallels between the satisfaction ratings of participants who were cooperatively-oriented or received feedback about an opponent’s satisfaction with outcomes, and between those who were individualistically-oriented or received outcome-only feedback. Whereas participants’ satisfaction changed most rapidly with increasing joint gain when they were cooperatively-oriented or received outcome satisfaction feedback, participants’ satisfaction changed most rapidly with increasing outcome differences when they were individualistically-oriented or received outcome-only feedback. Several three-way interactions showed that the most rapid changes in negotiators’ satisfaction occur when interdependence is highlighted, that is, when cooperatively-motivated negotiators receive information about an opponent’s outcome satisfaction.


Negotiation Motivational orientation Subjective utility Feedback 



Funding was provided by Discovery Grant Australian Research Council (Grant No. 1093256).


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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Melbourne Business SchoolThe University of MelbourneParkvilleAustralia
  2. 2.Melbourne School of Psychological SciencesThe University of MelbourneParkvilleAustralia

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