The Downside to Rational Argument

In a series of 4 experiments and 2 pilot studies, we demonstrated that when the generation of counterarguments was easy, negotiators who did not add arguments to their first offers achieved superior results compared with negotiators who used arguments to justify their first offer. We hypothesized and provided evidence that adding arguments to a first offer was likely to cause the responding party to search for counterarguments, and this, in turn, led him or her to present counteroffers that were further away from the first offer.

Perhaps there’s a logic to the “climate change is a myth, period” position after all. The full paper can be found in the latest issue of the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.

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