Experimental studies of bargaining as analogues of civil disputes

by James P. Kahan


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This paper reviews recent studies of experimental bargaining, largely conducted in social psychological laboratories, to obtain findings that might prove helpful to understanding the process of civil dispute resolution. Three research areas are surveyed: (1) the effect of third party intervention, (2) the effect of having representatives bargain in the stead of the central parties, and (3) the effect of negotiating multiple issues as packages. For each of these areas, the studies provide generalizations that suggest ways in which civil disputes might be more efficaciously settled.

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