Dr. Dina Nir
Interdisciplinary Center - IDC
Herzliya and Ono Academic College
The Self as Negotiator of Inner Conflicts and Everyday Decisions
This talk introduces the Negotiational Self Theory (NST). By integrating literatures on the self-concept and interpersonal negotiation, NST conceptualizes the resolution of inner conflict as an internal negotiation between different and opposing self-aspects, each representing unique perspectives and promoting different needs and interests. NST further suggests that the decisions reached to resolve everyday inner conflicts may vary according to a key variable—the Decision Integration (DI) level. DI level represents the extent to which various and conflicting self-aspects are addressed and satisfied in any given decision. Low DI reflects coercive win–lose decisions, in which aspects grouped at one pole of the conflict are fully satisfied, whereas opposing self-aspects remain lacking and unfulfilled. High DI reflects integrative win–win decisions, in which opposing self-aspects are equally acknowledged and addressed, and a creative solution is constructed that incorporates and satisfies all self-aspects. In this talk I will discuss four studies that demonstrate the basic tenets of NST. Study 1 & 2 show that DI levels can be reliably identified as ranging from low to high DI, and that while people tend to reach low DI solutions, higher DI levels are associated with higher positive, and lower negative post-decision emotions. Study 3 demonstrates the effectiveness of training people to arrive at decisions with higher DI levels, and Study 4 examines the effect of reaching integrative decisions on subsequent creativity tasks, showing that the higher the initial DI level, the higher the creative performance in an unrelated task.