Behaviour Change

PROPAGANDA FOR CHANGE is a project created by the students of Behaviour Change (ps359) and Professor Thomas Hills @thomhills at the Psychology Department of the University of Warwick. This work was supported by funding from Warwick's Institute for Advanced Teaching and Learning.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

A Doomed Negotiation

In a brilliant sequence from Django Unchained, Schultz (Christoph Waltz) and Django (Jamie Foxx) attempt to purchase Django’s wife from a crazy plantation owner otherwise known as Candie (Leonardo Dicaprio).

Truth be told they go about this all wrong. First off they think it’s a great idea to try to trick Candie by buying one of his fighters and then at the last minute throw Broomhilda into the deal. Studies have shown that when a punter feels like they are being tricked they are less likely to go ahead with the deal. Unfortunately for Schultz and Django, Candie catches on and gets quite angry. Another mistake they make early on is coming up with an amount of money they would pay (what they call a ridiculous sum) before they know what Candie values the slaves at. Schultz missed out on finding out Candie’s BATNA (Best Alternative To a Negotiated Agreement) and therefore was unable to negotiated a mutually satisfying agreement, which comes back to bite him when Candie demands they pay him the $12,000 they suggested to begin with.

It is not a very common occurrence to be negotiating a price for your wife; but if it were there is a negative to this situation straight away. Studies have found that emotionally neutral decision makers make better decisions, Hsee and Rottenstreich (2004) showed that emotional thinking is a kiss of death in negotiation. In other words if you need it, you will be rubbish at negotiating for it. Schultz attempts one dependable technique during the shameful negotiation in which he tries to get Candie to like him; studies have shown that we are more likely to do something for someone if we like them (Frenzen & Davis, 1990). Schultz acts friendly and charming, even though he doesn’t like Candie (for some reason). It seems to be working, until Candie figures out that he is being duped.

Schultz is left completely trapped through no one’s fault but his own. Candie is the one holding all the cards and the only logical thing left for Schultz to do is to kill Candie and then get shot himself… apparently.

Frenzen, J. K., & Davis, H. L. (1990). Purchasing behavior in embedded markets. Journal of Consumer Research.

Hsee, C. K., & Rottenstreich, Y. (2004). Music, pandas, and muggers: on the affective psychology of value. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 133(1), 23.

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