March 24 Psychology Department Colloquium

On March 24th, from 12:30-1:20 in 4L28, please join Lukas Neville & Brianna Caza from the Asper School of Business for a talk on the topic of Growth through Reflection: Benefit Finding Enhances Negotiation Resilience.

“Negotiators are rarely at the table only once, and their experiences and feelings about previous negotiations often spill over into their subsequent ones.  We draw from the literature on coping to identify ways in which the post-negotiation reflection process can be used to promote negotiation resilience.  By resilience, we mean the ability to rebound, adapt, and emerge strengthened from adversity.  In the negotiation context, we think of resilient responses as being characterized by positive affect, self-efficacy, lowered anxiety, and an incremental mindset.

In a study of adults (n=297, recruited through Mechanical Turk), we tested the effects of benefit-focused reappraisal on negotiator resilience.  We asked participants to recall either an adverse or a favourable negotiation, then to write about the benefits of the experience (a benefit-finding manipulation, or to write about the process and outcome of the negotiation in general (control). We found that this benefit-finding exercise was effective in leading participants to think about the gains and growth from their experience.  Participants who wrote about the benefits of their negotiation also experienced significantly more positive affect, greater self-efficacy, less cognitive anxiety about future negotiations, and endorsed more incremental (rather than fixed) negotiation beliefs.

Our results indicate that a benefit-finding exercise was effective in enhancing resilience. While this is a promising result, more research is needed to understand the mechanisms at play. Does it, for instance, promote flexibility by providing a foundation of positive affect from which negotiators “broaden and build”?  Greater clarity about the mechanisms at play may help to clarify why benefit-finding is effective for both positive and challenging negotiations.  We will discuss our own in-progress follow-up studies in this area, and paths for future exploration.”

Everyone is welcome to attend this free event.

STUDY 2: Musings on Psyc-4100

Anonymous Psyc-4100 student

Are you concerned about the Psyc-4100 December exam?

There is always a degree of worry. It’s intimidating that a three-hour exam can determine 50% or so of your grade sometimes, so it’s kind of scary because no matter how you prepare, you’re never going to be as ready as you should be ready!

Going forward in your academic or vocation goals: is this course essential for your learning? Is this why you took this course?

I definitely think so! They are really preparing you for the “bigness” of the future, which is nice. It’s really intimidating at first, especially the first assignment, but I’m glad that I didn’t quit right away because it’s a sign that [the course] is doing its job.

For someone who might be taking 4100 in the future, do you have any advice for them?

I think there’s no such thing as perfection in this class: it’s accepting things as they come; not being discouraged by a wrong answer because I think that’s what gets a lot of people down. It’s a lot of work; it’s a lot of time-consuming agony [laughs], but when you’re done at the end of the day, it’s really rewarding.