Biased judgment and decision making in constituents evaluating representatives in negotiation
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Research in representative negotiation has sought to understand how relationships between representatives and their constituents influence the negotiation process. While much of this research has focused negotiations once the representative has been selected, little attention has been paid to how constituents select their representatives, and how their performance is evaluated. The present work shows that constituents are biased towards selecting representatives whose offers are in line with their expectations for a negotiation, and that this bias affects their performance evaluations and likelihood of being rehired regardless of the negotiation's outcome. In Study 1, I show initial evidence for this effect using an ultimatum game design. Study 2 elaborates upon Study 1 by demonstrating that the direction of difference between expectations and offers does not influence constituent judgment or behavior. Study 3 shows that the effect holds across time and constituents do not learn to overcome the bias, while ruling out experience as an alternate explanation. I discuss these findings by drawing from the theory of naïve realism, providing implications for theory and practice of representative negotiation.