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Negotiation and Social Decision Making


Entry requirements

Only open to Master’s students Psychology with specialisation Social and Organisational Psychology or Occupational Health Psychology or Research master track Social and Organisational Psychology


Individual decision-making and decision-making by dyads or groups are the basic building blocks of team work and organisational behaviour. Performance of teams depends on how groups share, store, and process information, how individuals negotiate with others, how group members interact and cooperate, how groups come up with creative ideas or solve problems, and how people in groups pursue their own goals or contribute to the collective success. This course aims to integrate recent developments in social psychology with insights derived from organisational and economic psychology. The emphasis will be on the relevance of social psychological insights for the understanding of individual and group decision-making. Topics covered will include the rationality of decisions, negotiation, information-sharing in teams, decision-making in groups and ethical decision-making.

Course objectives

Upon completion of this course, students will:

  • Have acquired advanced knowledge and insights about social psychological issues in organisational behaviour and about the methodological underpinnings of these insights;

  • Know how to apply this knowledge by analysing and conceptualizing real-life issues in organisational settings and to present their analyses orally as well as in writing; and

  • Have acquired negotiation skills and understand how to create value and reach mutually beneficial agreements.


For the timetables of your lectures, work groups and exams, please select your study programme in: Psychology timetables

Semester 1: Work group sessions

Semester 2: Work group sessions



Students need to enroll for lectures and work group sessions. Master’s course registration


Students are not automatically enrolled for an examination. They can register via uSis from 100 to 10 calendar days before the date. Students who are not registered will not be permitted to take the examination. Registering for exams

Mode of instruction

The course is given in 8 2-hour work group sessions.

Assessment method

The final grade is based on:

  • Rated oral presentations (33,33%)

  • Weekly preparatory assignments (33,33%)

  • Exam with multiple choice questions (33,33%)

All literature mentioned in the reading list will be examined during the written exam.

The Institute of Psychology follows the policy of the Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences to systematically check student papers for plagiarism with the help of software. Disciplinary measures will be taken when fraud is detected. Students are expected to be familiar with and understand the implications of this fraud policy.

Reading list

Journal articles (available from the library and via Blackboard), among which:

  • Gunia, B. C., Sivanathan, N., & Galinsky, A. D. (2009). Vicarious entrapment: Your sunk costs, my escalation of commitment. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 45(6), 1238-1244.

  • Wit, A. P., & Kerr, N. L. (2002). “Me versus just us versus us all” categorization and cooperation in nested social dilemmas. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 83, 616-637.

  • Molenmaker, W. E., De Kwaadsteniet, E. W., & Van Dijk, E. (2016). The impact of personal responsibility on the (un)willingness to punish non-cooperation and reward cooperation. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 134, 1-15. Doi: 10.1016/j.obhdp.2016.02.004

  • Steinel, W, Utz, S, & Koning, L. (2010). The good, the bad and the ugly thing to do when sharing information: Revealing, concealing and lying depend on social motivation, distribution and importance of information. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 113, 85-96.

Contact information

Dr. Wolfgang Steinel