Interaction patterns in crisis negotiations: Persuasive arguments and cultural differences

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This research examines cultural differences in negotiators' responses to persuasive arguments in crisis (hostage) negotiations over time. Using a new method of examining cue-response patterns, the authors examined 25 crisis negotiations in which police negotiators interacted with perpetrators from low-context (LC) or high-context (HC) cultures. Compared with HC perpetrators, LC perpetrators were found to use more persuasive arguments, to reciprocate persuasive arguments in the second half of negotiations, and to respond to persuasive arguments in a compromising way. Further analyses found that LC perpetrators were more likely to communicate threats, especially in the first half of the negotiations, but that HC perpetrators were more likely to reciprocate them. The implications of these findings for our understanding of intercultural interaction are discussed
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5-19
JournalJournal of applied psychology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2009


  • Hostage negotiation
  • Cultural differences
  • Influence tactics
  • Proximity coefficient


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