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Negotiation and Social Decision Making


Entry requirements

Only open to Master’s students Psychology with specialisation Social and Organisational Psychology or Occupational Health Psychology or Research master track Social and Economic Psychology

This course is offered twice a year


Individual decision-making and decision-making by dyads or groups are the basic building blocks of team work and organisational behaviour. Performance of teams depends on how groups share, store, and process information, how individuals negotiate with others, how group members interact and cooperate, how groups come up with creative ideas or solve problems, and how people in groups pursue their own goals or contribute to the collective success. This course aims to integrate recent developments in social psychology with insights derived from organisational and economic psychology. The emphasis will be on the relevance of social psychological insights for the understanding of individual and group decision-making. Topics covered will include the rationality of decisions, negotiation, information-sharing in teams, decision-making in groups and ethical decision-making.

Course objectives

Upon completion of this course, students will:

  • Be able to explain social psychological issues in organisational behaviour and the methodological underpinnings of these insights;

  • Be able to interpret real-life issues in organisational settings and present their analyses orally as well as in writing;

  • Be able to handle the challenges in analysing conflict situations and prepare effectively for negotiations; and

  • Be confident about their negotiation skills and able to create value and strive for mutually beneficial agreements in negotiation.


For the timetable of this course please refer to MyTimetable



Students must register themselves for all course components (lectures, tutorials and practicals) they wish to follow. You can register up to 5 days prior to the start of the course.


You must register for each exam in My Studymap at least 10 days before the exam date. You cannot take an exam without a valid registration in My Studymap. Carefully read all information about the procedures and deadlines for registering for courses and exams.

Exchange students and external guest students will be informed by the education administration about the current registration procedure.

Mode of instruction

The course is given in seven work group sessions of 2-3 hours.

Assessment method

The final grade is based on:

  • Rated oral presentations (33,33%)

  • Graded preparatory assignments (33,33%)

  • Exam (33,33%)

All literature mentioned in the reading list will be examined during the written exam.

The Institute of Psychology follows the policy of the Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences to systematically check student papers for plagiarism with the help of software. All students are required to take and pass the Scientific Integrity Test with a score of 100% in order to learn about the practice of integrity in scientific writing. Students are given access to the quiz via a module on Brightspace. Disciplinary measures will be taken when fraud is detected. Students are expected to be familiar with and understand the implications of this fraud policy

Reading list

Fisher, R., Ury, W., & Patton, B. (2012). Getting to yes: Negotiating an agreement without giving in (3rd Edition). New York: Random House.
Steinel & Harinck (2020). Negotiation and Bargaining. In: Oxford research encyclopedia of psychology. Oxford University Press. DOI: 10.1093/acrefore/9780190236557.013.253

Van Dijk, E., & De Dreu, C. K. W. (2021). Experimental games and social decision-making. Annual Review of Psychology, 72, 415–38. DOI: 10.1146/annurev-psych-081420-110718

Journal articles (available from the library and via Brightspace), among which:

  • Molenmaker, W. E., De Kwaadsteniet, E. W., & Van Dijk, E. (2019). The effect of decision timing on the willingness to costly reward cooperation and punish noncooperation: Sanctioning the past, the present, or the future. Journal of Behavioral Decision Making. DOI: 10.1002/bdm.2110

  • Steinel, W, Utz, S, & Koning, L. (2010). The good, the bad and the ugly thing to do when sharing information: Revealing, concealing and lying depend on social motivation, distribution and importance of information. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 113, 85-96. DOI: 10.1016/j.obhdp.2010.07.001

Contact information

Dr. Wolfgang Steinel