How to dissolve fixed-pie bias in negotiation? Social antecedents and the mediating effect of mental-model adjustment

Wu Liu, Leigh Anne Liu, Jian Dong Zhang

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Fixed-pie bias, defined as the erroneous belief that the other negotiation party's interest is directly opposite to one's own, has been a consistent hurdle that negotiators must overcome in their efforts to achieve optimal negotiation outcomes. In this study, we explore the underlying cognitive mechanism and the social antecedents of fixed-pie bias reduction in negotiation. Using data from a negotiation simulation with 256 participants, we found that mental-model adjustments made by negotiators could effectively decrease fixed-pie bias. More interestingly, we also found that negotiators were less likely to reduce fixed-pie bias when negotiating with an in-group member than with an out-group member but only under a high accountability condition. Finally, we found that mental-model adjustment mediated the effects of the aforementioned social antecedents (in-groupness and accountability) on reduced fixed-pie bias. We discuss the theoretical and practical implications of these findings.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)85-107
Number of pages23
JournalJournal of Organizational Behavior
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2016


  • Accountability
  • Fixed-pie bias
  • Group membership
  • Mental model
  • Negotiation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Psychology(all)
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management

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