Cognitive, Emotional, and Communicative Aspects in International Negotiation: Affective Neuroscience Contribution to the General Understanding of the Negotiation Process

As previously remarked, we would like to recall that people who have to negotiate, even before they take a seat and prior to becoming fully aware of all the necessary steps of the real negotiation, often have a particular predisposition from which they have to judge a subsequent determination of facts, the nature of the conflict and, last but not least, the negotiators that are seated on the other side of the table. In such a context, the person’s consciousness is not a tabula rasa. Negotiators bring to the negotiation table their own beliefs, perceptions, emotions, moods, and communication styles. Therefore, on many occasions, the cognitive processes result in implicit automatic thoughts “disturbed” by a series of cognitive distortions and dysfunctional beliefs (Beck, 1999, 2003; Ellis, 1992, 2002), especially when actors are in stressful situations and vital (or not so vital) interests are also at stake. Accordingly, it is easily understandable that decisions taken in this context might be based on wrong perceptions, negative emotions, and on a consequential emotional misattunement with the counterpart that provokes a chain reaction of failed verbal and nonverbal communication, coupled with behaviours able to drive the negotiation toward a serious impasse or a troubled path when instead a good result could have possibly ensued.


Nuclear Weapon Negotiation Process Cognitive Distortion International Negotiation Automatic Thought 
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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008

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