Monday, November 14, 2011

NBA lockout: Strict Business vs Arousal as a recipe for breakdown.

The ongoing NBA labor negotiations is a textbook study of a mismatch between emotional and business levels of perception in a high-stake conflict.
(November 14, 2011. ESPN) - From a strict business standpoint, the players' best move is to offer a counterproposal, and to be prepared to accept the league's proposal if their counterproposal is rejected.

But the players aren't operating from a strict business standpoint. They're angry. They feel that they haven't gotten a fair deal from the owners, and the only way to ensure a fair deal is to take the league to court.
Anger is a psychological state of arousal. And we know, e.g. from a 2005 research paper by Ariely and Loewenstein (DOI: 10.1002/bdm.501) that:
Efforts at self-control that involve raw willpower (Baumeister & Vohs, 2003) are likely to be ineffective in the face of the dramatic cognitive and motivational changes caused by arousal.

Most likely, the negotiations will go nowhere until negotiators' business and psych levels are aligned.

tags: psychology, business, cognition

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