University of Twente Student Theses


The effect of suspicion on emotional influence tactics in virtual human negotiation

Roediger, Sarah (2018) The effect of suspicion on emotional influence tactics in virtual human negotiation.

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Abstract:In this thesis I aimed to explore whether human negotiators with a suspicious mindset are less susceptible to an emotionally manipulative virtual human in a multi-issue bargaining task compared to naive negotiators. Naive negotiators are expected to perform worse when confronted with the emotionally manipulative agent compared to participants confronted with a control agent. Recent research by Oza et al. suggests that suspicion can guard a human negotiator against assessing his or her satisfaction with a negotiation outcome based on psychological factors, such as emotion. When participants were primed before entering a negotiation task with an explanation of negotiation tactics unrelated to the subsequent task, they remained unaffected in terms of performance by negotiation tactics used during the subsequent negotiation. That means that primed participants did not perform worse against an opponent using an emotional manipulation tactic compared to primed participants negotiating with a non manipulative opponent. The current project aimed to extend the work of Oza et al. in regard of two goals. The first goal was to replicate the findings of Oza et al. for human-agent negotiation. Possible similarities or differences between human-human and human-agent interaction were investigated. Secondly, it was aimed to further inform the theory underpinning the effect of suspicion to guard participants against the influence of negotiation tactics by taking behavioral measures into account too. To achieve those set goals, participants were invited to participate in an online multi-issue bargaining task with a virtual agent. To induce a suspicious mindset participants were primed with negotiation tactics based on the assumptions of the Persuasion Knowledge Model (PKM) \cite{friestad1994persuasion}. The results did not indicate any effects on the user performance or self-report measures for either the prime nor the tactic condition. Two subsequent experiments were executed to examine whether these study results are due to the currently used agent configurations or represent a fundamental difference between the effect of negotiation tactics used in human-agent negotiation and human human negotiation. A follow up study tested 4 different agent configurations for their effect on user performance and self-report measures (Experiment 2). The results suggest a successful emotional manipulation for one of the agent configurations: fixed pie belief and non-anchoring. Finally, a third experiment was executed to replicate study one using the fixed pie belief non-anchoring agent configuration. The results again suggested no effect of negotiation tactic on user performance. The inconsistent findings of the three experiments executed in the course of this thesis project underpin the need for future research in human agent negotiation. Implications for future studies as well as alternative explanations are discussed.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
USC - Institute for Creative Technologies, Los Angeles, United States of America
Faculty:EEMCS: Electrical Engineering, Mathematics and Computer Science
Subject:54 computer science, 77 psychology
Programme:Interaction Technology MSc (60030)
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