Dean Pruitt

Dean Pruitt
George Mason University | GMU · School for Conflict Analysis and Resolution

Doctor of Philosophy

About

122
Publications
79,959
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8,265
Citations
Citations since 2016
5 Research Items
1730 Citations
2016201720182019202020212022050100150200250
2016201720182019202020212022050100150200250
2016201720182019202020212022050100150200250
2016201720182019202020212022050100150200250
Additional affiliations
September 1966 - June 2001
University at Buffalo, The State University of New York
Position
  • Professor (Full)
Description
  • I retired from this position in 2001 and am now Distinguished Professor Emeritus

Publications

Publications (122)
Chapter
Mediation is a growth industry. Formal mediation has long been practiced in industrial and international relations; but in the past 25 years, it has spread into almost every conceivable realm of conflict, from the relations between children on the playground to the sentencing of murderers. Informal mediation – by friends, co‐workers, family members...
Article
Full-text available
This is a step-by-step account of the development of readiness theory, which concerns how a disputant decides to enter negotiation aimed at settling an intractable conflict. A cumulative case study method was used, involving sequential examination of the peace processes that settled three conflicts between dominant and subordinate ethnic groups. Th...
Article
Except when there is substantial third-party pressure for settlement, participants in intractable conflict will only enter negotiation if they are motivated to end the conflict and optimistic about negotiation’s chances of success. The sources of such optimism are explored using case material from three intractable interethnic conflicts that were u...
Article
There has been immense progress in experimental research on negotiation in the last 50 years. Still there are significant weaknesses in this field. One is the absence of a cumulative theory of negotiation. The output of our studies is ever more complex and sophisticated findings. These findings can be categorized and listed end-to-end, but they hav...
Chapter
Intractable conflict is severely escalated, long-lasting conflict. The hostility that occurs in such conflict tends to block association between adversaries and interfere with their communication (Coleman 1957; Sherif and Sherif 1969). For example, for years before the Oslo negotiations that established the Palestinian Authority, communication with...
Article
Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to compare and contrast two formal models of escalation and de-escalation: the attractor landscape model and the S-shaped reaction function model. Also, the paper aims to enumerate conditions that affect the shape and location of reaction functions and, hence, the stability of less and more escalated states....
Article
Four methods are described for pursuing and resolving differences of interest in a dyad: bargaining, reliance on content-specific norms, reliance on equity norms, and reliance on the norm of mutual responsiveness. Bargaining entails a number of dilemmas and other problems that are largely avoided when dyads rely on norms. Reliance on content-specif...
Article
During the last several years there has been an upsurge in interest in the mediation of social conflict. Innovations in mediating disputes at all levels of society have also given rise to research aimed at evaluating the effectiveness of mediation and a better understanding of the nature of the mediation process. We critically examine the burgeonin...
Article
The life cycle of intractable conflict often involves three stages: dispirited quiescence, escalation to a state of intractability, and de-escalation accompanied by negotiation. These stages are produced by three types of perceived power distributions between the advantaged and the disadvantaged groups: highly unequal power, moderately unequal powe...
Article
Secret back-channel communication is often employed in intergroup conflict as a prenegotiation device to explore the feasibility of front-channel negotiation. It can also be used as an adjunct to or a substitute for front-channel negotiation. In all of these uses, it brings flexibility and future orientation to talks. In prenegotiation, it also pro...
Article
Secret back-channel communication is often employed in severe conflict to explore the feasibility of front-channel negotiation. It can also be used as an adjunct to front-channel negotiation when talks become deadlocked or as a substitute for front-channel negotiation. Its value lies partly in the flexibility and future orientation it brings to tal...
Article
After 20 years of heavy fighting in Northern Ireland, a peace process started in 1988. The fighting went on, with some interruptions, for another 9 years; but during this time there was a long series o;f back-channel communications and conciliatory signals that led to a cease-fire, negotiations, and a peace settlement. The dynamics of this peace pr...
Article
Negotiation with non-ideological ethno-nationalist terrorists is more common and more successful than with other kinds of terrorists. Additional strategies for dealing with terrorists include combating, isolating, and mainstreaming. There are many arguments against negotiatng with terrorists, but most of them do not apply to secret, backchannel tal...
Article
Negotiation with non-ideological ethno-nationalist terrorists is more common and more successful than with other kinds of terrorists. Additional strategies for dealing with terrorists include combating, isolating, and mainstreaming. There are many arguments against negotiation with terrorists, but most of them do not apply to secret backchannel tal...
Article
Field experiments, in which the researcher manipulates one or more variables in a naturally occurring setting, have sometimes been used in studies of social conflict and should probably be used more often. They are more useful than observational studies for assessing the impact of novel conditions, establishing cause and effect, and reducing confou...
Article
Conflict is said to escalate when one or both parties shift(s) to more extreme tactics – shouting instead of complaining softly, shooting instead of shouting, sending tanks instead of guerrillas. Escalation is the main reason why conflict has such a bad reputation. People are hurt and relationships are destroyed. Escalation often develops through c...
Book
Full-text available
The full text of my (with Sung Hee Kim) third edition of Social Conflict: Escalation, Stalemate, and Settlement is now available from Lulu Press. --Dean G. Pruitt
Article
In two experiments on reactions to persistent annoyance from another person, participants employed a very orderly verbal escalation sequence that fit a cascading Guttman scale. This began with requests and moved on to demands, and then to complaints, angry statements, threats, harassment, and abuse, in that order. The more escalated the tactic, the...
Article
Full-text available
Reactions to persistent annoyance were studied with a new laboratory method. A standard escalation sequence was found, which involved the following order of tactics: requests for termination of the annoyance, impatient demands, complaints, angry statements, threats, harassment, and abuse. The further along a tactic was in this sequence, the fewer t...
Article
Readiness theory, an adaptation of ripeness theory, helps to resolve some problems with the latter set of ideas. Readiness theory holds that all kinds of progress toward conflict resolution result from the existence, on both sides, of: motivational ripeness (motivation to achieve de-escalation) and optimism about finding a mutually acceptable agree...
Article
A simulated price war between two competing gas stations provided the context to assess the effects on de-escalation of the subject's financial shortage, the competitor's financial shortage, and a message from the competitor conveying a non-exploitative intent. Subject shortages encouraged gasoline price increases (de-escalation) and competitor sho...
Article
Reviews the book, Resolving International Conflicts: The Theory and Practice of Mediation edited by Jacob Bercovitch (1996). This is a lively book, full of theoretical and practical insights into the role of mediators and related kinds of actors in the resolution of international conflict. It is also a refreshing book because of its interdisciplina...
Article
Full-text available
Current theories hold either that justice is absent from negotiation or that it hovers over negotiations as a single validating principle. This article maintains that neither is correct. There is no single validating principle of justice, but justice is not absent from negotiation. In the process of negotiation, negotiators themselves come to an ag...
Article
Negotiation is usually an outgrowth of a broader conflict episode in which one party, the claimant, is trying to persuade another party, the respondent, to take an action it does not wish to take. Claimants typically employ a script-driven sequence of tactics, changing their approach until the conflict is resolved or they give up. If negotiation is...
Article
A variety of strategies were identified in interview-based chronologies of ordinary interpersonal conflicts. Verbal confrontation with the adversary was the most common strategy and usually preceded other approaches. Efforts to arrange mediation and arbitration were extremely rare, though third parties were approached for other reasons in most of t...
Article
This research concerned preference and choice among six procedures commonly used to resolve disputes. Two experiments revealed that, compared to complainants, respondents liked inaction and disliked arbitration. However, the most striking findings concerned general preferences among the procedures: consensual procedures (negotiation, mediation, and...
Article
This article reports the results of a study of the antecedents of long-term success in community mediation. Seventy-three mediation sessions were recorded and content analyzed. The participants were interviewed at two points: immediately after mediation and 4 to 8 months later. No relationship was found between the quality of the agreements—i.e., t...
Article
bring together the literature on aggression with the literatures on negotiation, mediation, procedural choice, and dispute management systems / focus on the use of "struggle tactics" or instrumental aggression designed to achieve victory or avoid defeat in social conflict / struggle tactics include threats, harassment, positional commitments, and t...
Article
Pruitt and Carnevale's examination of behavior in negotiations and its antecedents and consequences looks at the nature of negotiator strategies and tactics and their impact on the outcomes of negotiation. Among the antecedents examined are the negotiator's role in his or her organization, conflict style, the other party's behavior, the way the iss...
Article
This observational and interview study investigated the role of caucusing (private meetings between the mediator and a disputant) in community mediation. The results from 73 cases at two mediation centers indicate that mediators are more likely to caucus when disputants have a history of escalation, are hostile toward each other during the hearing,...
Article
This research examined antecedents of short-term success in mediation. Seventy-three hearings were observed at two community dispute resolution centers in New York State. Measures of short-term success were: reaching agreement, goal achievement, and immediate satisfaction with the agreement and with the conduct of the hearing. Results indicated tha...
Article
Literature on power differentials within mediation sessions has indicated that when power imbalances are too great, mediation is not the proper venue for the resolution of these disputes. However, when there is not an incapacitating imbalance, it is possible that mediators can take steps to rectify this situation. A field study was conducted at two...
Article
This research examined the relationships among a number of outcomes of mediation. The sample consisted of 73 hearings at two dispute settlement centers in New York State. Predictions from goal achievement theory were contrasted with predictions from procedural justice theory. In accordance with goal achievement theory, disputants who attained their...
Article
A theory is presented about the functions of caucusing (private meetings between the mediator and disputant) in mediation. Empirical results that confirm and extend a number of propositions from the theory are also presented. Two coders, content analyzing both mediator and disputant behavior, observed 51 hearings at the Dispute Settlement Center of...
Article
A field experiment was conducted at a community mediation center to test the impact on behavior in mediation of three models of third-party intervention. Third parties and disputants were randomly assigned to one of three conditions: (a) straight mediation; (b) mediation/arbitration (same), or med/arb(same); or (c) mediation/arbitration (different)...
Article
Full-text available
This study examined the impact of mediator bias and disputant power over the mediator on acceptance of the mediator and mediator influence. Disputants who perceived the mediator as biased against their side were less accepting of the mediator and less influenced by the mediator than disputants who perceived the mediator as neutral. Disputants with...
Chapter
This chapter deals with the role of conspiracy theory in conflict escalation. Conspiracy theory is the belief that a group of people is plotting to harm one’s interests. By conflict is meant a perceived divergence of interest between two or more parties. Conflict escalates when the parties to a conflict move from lighter to heavier heavier contenti...
Article
Full-text available
This experiment examined the influence of constituent surveillance, constituent gender, and negotiator gender on negotiation behavior and outcome. (Constituents are the people represented by negotiators.) Surveillance by a male constituent made negotiators more contentious and produced relatively unequal final outcomes. Surveillance by a female con...
Article
Mismatching in negotiation involves responding with high demands to the opponent's low demands and with low demands to the opponent's high demands. Prior research has shown that the opponent's demands are often mismatched but that this effect is attenuated when information is available about the outcomes achieved by the opponent from the available...
Article
Expectation of cooperative future interaction with the other negotiator (ECFI) was crossed with accountability to constituents. Accountability produced contentious behavior and it reduced joint benefit when ECFI was absent, but it increased joint benefit when ECFI was present. The results can be construed as supporting a dual-concern model, suggest...
Article
Subjects first observed a pair of negotiations between two confederates of the same sex, and then negotiated with one of these confederates. Those who had observed their opponent follow a matching strategy conceded more than those who had observed their opponent follow either a tough or soft strategy. Confederates using a matching strategy were rat...
Article
The expectation of cooperative future interaction (ECFI) encouraged especially high joint benefit (the total of the two bargainers' individual outcomes) when resistance to yielding was high, but especially low joint benefit when resistance to yielding was low. Process data suggest that this finding can be explained as follows: When resistance to yi...
Article
Four basic negotiating strategies are analyzed along with the outcomes they encourage and the determinants of their use. Guidelines for influencing the strategic choice of one's bargaining partners are also presented with an emphasis on techniques for encouraging one's adversaries to move away from contentious behavior and toward problem solving.
Article
Augmented the research design used by H. H. Kelley et al (1967) to examine negotiation about the division of a common reward to include 2 factors expected to interact with bargainer's limit: time pressure and the other bargainer's toughness. Five hypotheses were tested: (1) Concession rate is lower the higher a bargainer's limit; (2) concession rat...
Article
The joint effect on helping behavior of liking and dependence on another for future rewards was examined. It was hypothesized that future dependence produces more helping behavior between people who like one another than between people who dislike one another. This hypothesis was derived from the Pruitt and Kimmel (1977) goal/expectation theory, a...
Chapter
Bargaining, a type of social conflict, can be defined as symbolic communication by means of which two or more parties attempt to reach agreement when their interests are opposed. “Opposed interests” mean that the parties’ differing needs lead them to incompatible preferences among the available alternatives.1 Parties involved can range in size and...
Article
Full-text available
Attempted to reconcile conflicting findings about the impact of negotiator accountability on bargaining process and outcome. Some studies have found that high accountability produces more pressure (dominance) tactics and lower joint benefit than low accountability. Other studies have found no accountability effects. Results of the present research...
Article
Full-text available
Used 60 male and 60 female undergraduates in same sex dyads to study the effects of trust (defined as belief that the other negotiator is cooperatively motivated), aspirations, and gender on the conditions and processes leading to outcomes that jointly benefit both parties. Under high aspirations, high trust produced self-consciously cooperative be...
Article
Constituent surveillance encouraged the negotiator's use of such competitive tactics as threats, positional commitments, and persuasive arguments. Negotiators apparently chose these tactics in order to look tough in the eyes of their constituent. These tactics resulted in diminished joint and individual outcomes. The results of the study suggest th...
Article
Previous studies attempting to assess the impact of concern for an opponent bargainer's welfare (orientation) upon the integrativeness of the agreements reached have produced differing conclusions. The design of an earlier experiment by Kelley and Schenitzki was replicated using a different negotiation method and task. Participants took the role of...
Article
Borah's (1963) version of the Deutsch and Krauss (1960) trucking game was employed under three experimental conditions-no gates, bilateral gates, and bilateral gates plus a capacity for threatening to fine the other for gate use. The original finding, that presence of the gates interferes with cooperation, was replicated. Introduction of the threat...
Article
In Study I, the self-ideal discrepancy in risk taking was found to be unrelated to the strength of values relevant to the risks under consideration, and the other-self discrepancy was found to be related to these values only by virtue of one of its components, inital preference. Hence the use of these discrepancies as measures of value strength mus...
Article
Conducted 2 studies of bilateral negotiation with a total of 174 male undergraduates to reveal the conditions under which bargainers reach agreement involving high joint profit. Results suggest the importance of 3 approaches to negotiation: (a) the distributive approach, which reduces joint profit; (b) the heuristic trial-and-error approach, which...
Article
Conducted a gaming experiment (Prisoner's Dilemma game) with 50 male undergraduates to determine the effects of a confederate's threats and S's perception of the credibility of those threats on S's compliance. Perception and credibility were measured by questionnaires after each threat trial. It was hypothesized that (a) threat credibility (and the...
Article
Examined the effects of the anticipation of various forms of 3rd-party intervention in a collective bargaining simulation. 50 male graduate students served as ss. Results indicate negotiators faced with a binding decision from a 3rd party behaved in a more conciliatory fashion and were more likely to reach agreement than those faced with a nonbindi...
Article
Notes that shifts toward caution occur reliably in group discussions of certain issues and that the earlier notion that groups always take more risk than individuals must be abandoned. Discussion-induced shifts have recently been found on several non-risk-involving dimensions, suggesting a general phenomenon of choice shifts, rather than only shift...
Article
Attempts to integrate the findings presented in 18 articles on the choice shift in group decision. Theoretical background, experimental results, and future research recommendations are discussed. (23 ref.). (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
Two experiments were performed, involving a similar method. Experiment I showed for the first time that group discussion can produce a shift toward greater risk in choices among bets. A risky shift was found in two dimensions of risk taking: probability preferences and stake preferences. This finding made it possible to use bets in the second exper...
Article
Employed 96 undergraduates in an investigation of the conditions under which mediation is most effective in producing concessions. Results show that the suggestion by a mediator of a point of settlement halfway between the positions of 2 negotiators produced substantial concessions. Concessions were also produced by high, as opposed to low, time pr...
Article
Investigated the psychological dimensions and processes associated with 3 decomposed Prisoner's Dilemma games that produced radically different patterns of action in a previous study by D. G. Pruitt (see 41:11). 120 male undergraduates were assigned to the cells of a 3 * 2 design, involving the 3 games and cooperative vs. noncooperative input from...
Article
A total of 226 subjects at three universities participated in five separate studies which measured the effect on individual risk taking of increased familiarity with the problem situation. The results of all five studies failed to replicate the finding that individuals will take increased risk after they are given an opportunity to become familiar...
Article
examine the resolution or amelioration of severe, seemingly intractable conflicts—the kind that grind on and on / [consider] an eclectic and multimodal approach [that] is essential to further progress in the field of conflict management / present a systems model, which traces social conflict to changes in 5 modes of human experience / discuss 7 cla...
Article
When the first edition of "Social Conflict" appeared in 1986, there was still a Berlin Wall, a Yugoslavia, and a Soviet Union. International conflict was organized in bipolar, Cold War fashion, and this way of understanding the world permeated all levels of conflict theory and practice. Our goal on the first edition of "Social Conflict" was to pres...

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