A Non-intrusive Approach to Measuring Trust in Opponents in a Negotiation Scenario
There is a consensus that trust in one’ opponent plays a significant role in promoting parties to engage in the conflict management process. Trust is an important yet complex and little-understood relation among parties in conflict. In general, trust can be seen as a measure of confidence that an entity or entities will behave expectedly. Without trust, the instruments to prevent or manage the conflict, such as negotiation, are handicapped and cannot reach their full potential for promoting an end to or a mitigation of a conflict. Hence, our motivation to examine trust is three-fold. First, the present study aims to address and expand on this line of research by investigating the possibility of measuring trust based on quantifiable behavior. To do so, we provide a brief review of the existing definitions of trust and define trust in the context of a negotiation scenario. Further, we propose a formal definition so that the analysis of trust in this kind of scenarios can be developed. Thus, it is suggested the use of Ambient Intelligence techniques that use a trust data model to collect and evaluate relevant information based on the assumption that observable trust between two entities (parties) results in certain typical behaviors. Third, this work aims to study the particular connection between relational aspects of trust and parties’ conflict styles based on two dimensions: cooperativeness and assertiveness. The main contribution of this work is the identification of situations in which trust relationships influences the negotiation performance. To do so, an experiment was set-up in which we tried to streamline all the relevant aspects of the interaction between the parties and its environment that occur in a sensory rich environment, to measure trust. To simulate a conflict situation, a web-based game was developed. It was designed to enable test participants to engage in a conflict experience induced by the presence of Ambient Intelligence systems. Several tests were performed. We then engaged in rigorous assessment, post- processing and analysis of results. We validated the results comparing them with trust measures obtained through the use of a questionnaire (carefully adapted) from social networks.
KeywordsAmbient intelligence Conflict handling styles Negotiation Trust measurement
This work has been supported by COMPETE: POCI-01-0145-FEDER-007043 and FCT - Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia (Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology) within the Project Scope UID/CEC/00319/2013.
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