ECPR General Conference
Université de Montréal, Montreal
26 - 29 August 2015

Dialogue or Monologues - The Effect of Topic Divergence on Negotiation Results

Political Methodology
Political Theory
Marius J. Bayer
Universität Konstanz
Marius J. Bayer
Universität Konstanz

Deliberation is described as an exchange and mutual evaluation of validity claims to bring about a common solution to a problem or a conflict. Thus, according to one crucial aspect of deliberation negotiation partners argue about the same topics, rather than each addressing their own agendas. To our knowledge, no attempts have been made to investigate, whether refraining to do so affects the negotiation outcome in a deliberative setting. To this end, we exploit the potential of text analysis methods. In a laboratory setting, we ask students to extensively negotiate a randomly assigned conflict before making a decision. By using a new hierarchical topic model on this real language corpus, we identify the topics addressed by the actors and calculate the topic divergence (i.e. the extent to which actors talk about different topics). We then estimate the effect of topic divergence on negotiation outcomes. Alternative Section: 22 (Experimental Political Science).
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"To govern is to choose" - Duc de Lévis

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