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.

Monday, March 17, 2014


Negotiation is a process that surge by which two or more people make an agreement despite having initial different preferences. The two parties try to obtain results that serve for the both, search individual or collective advantages and finally, solve the mutual conflict. Successful negotiation is easier if each one who is involucres in the discussion allows different points of view from the other part or parties and not just keeping their own opinions. In this video, we can see how the positive affect and visual access take place in negotiation.

This video is about a couple’s divorce.  In the beginning of the video, we can see how the couple is in a continuous discussion for sharing their properties. But then, when the mediators intervened in the discussion and suggested them that think about nice moments that they had spent together, the agreement was done more peaceful and successful. In this suggestion took place the positive affect which facilitate greatly the attempt to reach a deal.

Lewis and Fry (1977) found in their research that positive affect can leads the two confronted parties to have a peaceful and easy deal without discord. As well, they also found that physical barrier leads to have a more pacific agreement; in this case the physical barrier would be the mediators. Even, they assumed that although the two confronted parties do not see each other, it is a successful tactic so the omission of visual contact would be better for no perceiving who of the two parties has the dominance.

Lewis and Fry (1977) assumed that the visual contact in the two parties may be better for the attempt to dominate one over the other one, more than to solve the problem in a peaceful way, so this tactic cheers up to take place contentious tactics. However, they showed in their experiments that this effect can be calmed if they induced positive affect in the both confronted parts before the discussion starts.


Carnevale, J. D. P., & Isen, M. A. (1986). The Influence of Positive Affect and Visual Access on the Discovery of Integrative Solutions in Bilateral Negotiation. ORGANIZATIONAL BEHAVIOR AND HUMAN DECISION PROCESSES, 37, 1- 13.

Gemma Fernandez Álvarez

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