Social Comparison in Negotiation

Jan Crusius and Thomas Mussweiler

in The Oxford Handbook of Economic Conflict Resolution

Published in print September 2012 | ISBN: 9780199730858
Published online December 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks

Social Comparison in Negotiation

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  • Economics
  • Microeconomics
  • Econometrics and Mathematical Economics



This article explores the implications of social comparisons in bargaining behavior. Social comparisons are an inevitable part of negotiations. Social comparison is ubiquitous in human thinking, and mounting evidence suggests that it is a central process in social cognition. A social cognition view provides a novel explanation for the importance of comparisons in human thinking. Comparisons with routine standards may have an efficiency advantage because they omit arduous standard selection procedures and because the comparison process becomes more efficient itself. A spontaneous and basic upward motivational tendency can be an important part of the effects of an envy-eliciting situation, which will predictably affect behavior in some situations. Social comparison can cause a multitude of cognitive, motivational, and affective effects in negotiations.

Keywords: social comparisons; bargaining; negotiations; social cognition; human thinking

Article.  8154 words. 

Subjects: Economics ; Microeconomics ; Econometrics and Mathematical Economics

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