Introduction to Psychology
The Journal of Psychological Science
Adam D. Galinsky, William W. Maddux, Debra Gilin, and Judith B. White
Why It Pays to Get Inside the Head of Your Opponent
The Differential Effects of Perspective Taking and Empathy in Negotiations
July 16, 2007
Revision Accepted November 27, 2007
Volume 19 Number 4
Pages 378 -384
The article “Why It Pays to Get Inside the Head of Your Opponent” looks at the effects of two social competencies in negotiations. Perspective taking and empathy are the two different approaches that are studied in this article to determine the possible different effects they each have on the outcome of negotiations.
The authors use a political example to illustrate a successful negotiation where President John F. Kennedy was trying to prevent a potential annihilation by offering a promise that the United States would not invade Cuba in the future if in exchange all nuclear weapons were removed from Cuba. This appealed to the need of Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev which created the ability to obtain desired outcome that President Kennedy was trying to achieve. This shows the importance of how a negotiation is performed can have an impact on life effecting situations.
The authors stress the importance of knowing an opponents interests and the qualities of those interests imperative to achieving a successful negotiation. The clear benefits/gain must be appealing enough to an opponents personal interest to consider. Only by knowing and understanding the interests, motives and likely behaviors of an opponent, make it possible to identify what leverage would enable the acceptance of a proposed offer.
It is pointed out that even though these two approaches are used interchangeably they are actually different in many ways. They are different in that they require different abilities, the motives behind them, how they are communicated and in the results they