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Does Expanding the Pie spoil the Cake? How and Why the number of Issues affect Behaviors and Outcomes in Integrative Negotiation
How does adding issues affect integrative negotiations? There are two opposing positions in the literature: One emphasizes advantages of more issues because more issues increase opportunities for trade-offs. The other emphasizes disadvantages because more issues also increase complexity. In the present research, we reconcile these competing positions. In a laboratory experiment we found that 1.) given a constant integrative potential, parties negotiating on a high (vs. low) number of issues made more, but less integrative trade-offs (quantity vs. quality of trade-offs), reached lower joint profits (absolute outcomes) and less Pareto efficient agreements (relative outcomes); 2.) when more issues corresponded with a higher integrative potential parties negotiating on a high (vs. low) number of issues still made more, and less integrative trade-offs, but reached higher joint profits. Nonetheless, they ended up with less Pareto efficient agreements. Mediation analyses showed how negotiators’ cognitive categorization processes accounted for these effects.