Course Schedule


Psychology and the Society: Political Negotiations and Sustainability (Seminar)

Dozent/in: Roman Trötschel

wöchentlich | Montag | 10:15 - 11:45 | 17.10.2022 - 30.01.2023 | C 1.005 Seminarraum

Inhalt: The course deals with psychological processes in political negotiations in the context of ecological, economic, or societal transformations (i.e., transformation negotiations). Transformation negotiations can be defined as joint and interactive decision-making processes aimed at solving present and future social conflicts arising from economic, ecological, societal, or cultural transitions. Transformation negotiations seek to promote sustainable development through (a) incorporating interests across multiple outcome levels such as economic, ecological, and social levels, (b) integrating multilateral interests of parties at and beyond the negotiation table, and (c) balancing short-term and long-term consequences across a prolonged time period. Accordingly, transformation negotiations have the object of solving conflicts on multiple dimensions to promote interlocal, intersectional, and intergenerational justice. From a psychological standpoint, negotiating transformation is particularly challenging as it evokes various social conflicts at different levels (e.g.,intrapersonal, interpersonal, intragroup, and intergroup conflicts) and thus raises cognitive demands. Under this circumstance, negotiators need to make tradeoffs across various outcome dimensions (e.g., economic, ecologic, and social outcomes). They must take external parties’ interests into consideration and need to balance immediate and future consequences resulting from their negotiated agreements. In sum, parties in transformation negotiations must not only solve their social conflicts at the table but must also reconcile various types of other conflicts beyond the table (e.g., conflicts between present and future generations, conflicts being present vs. absent from the table, conflicts across various outcome dimensions such ecological vs. economic outcomes). Accordingly, sustainable conflict solutions through negotiations can only be achieved when negotiators take all “externalities” arising from their agreements into account. The course ‘Psychology and Society: Political Negotiations and Sustainability’ will focus on psychological drivers and barriers in transformation negotiations in the context of political decision-making. Specifically, the course will deal with biased perceptions, erroneous beliefs, or self-defensive cognitions that hinder the achievement of sustainable agreements. Beneficial psychological drivers in transformation negotiations such as perspective taking, accountability beliefs, or shared cognition will also be discussed and addressed in the course. Further, from a motivational perspective, the course will deal with the impact of competitive versus cooperative negotiation strategies aimed at the transition towards sustainability (e.g., logrolling, expanding the pie, collectivizing vs. threating, contending, bluffing). Finally, from a group research perspective, the effect of social identification (individual vs. group identification), group processes (group losses vs. gains), and group representation (representatives vs. constituency) will be examined. The acquired knowledge from the course will be applied to real-world examples of political negotiations involving economic, ecological, societal, or cultural issues aimed at the transition towards sustainability.