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Outcomes of negotiation depend on personality of person, partner, and the person-partner interaction

Press release: "Personality and integrative negotiations: A HEXACO investigation of actor, partner, and actor-partner interaction effects on objective and subjective outcomes"

Recently, Dr. Dunlop and colleagues published an article in the European Journal of Personality, titled, “Personality and integrative negotiations: A HEXACO investigation of actor, partner, and actor-partner interaction effects on objective and subjective outcomes”. In this paper, Dunlop and colleagues examine how the agreeableness – that is, their tendency to act in a kind and cooperative manner – and level of honesty-humility (HH) of a negotiator (defined by their sincerity, fairness, greed avoidance, and modesty) and that of their negotiation partner influence outcomes of that negotiation. Results from their investigation showed that a negotiator’s outcomes were dependent on a negotiator’s own personality, but also on that of the other person. The study was published in the July/August issue of the European Journal of Personality.

In their study, Dunlop and colleagues examined how levels of agreeableness and HH influenced objective (how many points you negotiated) and subjective (how satisfied you were with the negotiation itself) outcomes of negotiations. To examine this, they had dyads of participants, in which one role-played a hiring manager and the other role-played a successful job applicant, negotiate employment contract terms. Their findings suggest that agreeable people could achieve better outcomes, when negotiating with people who were high on HH, but when negotiating with low HH people, agreeable people did relatively poorly. In addition, the researchers found that , negotiators preferred to negotiate with partners who are high on HH. As such, when negotiating with another party for the first time, in cases where a long-term relationship could be expected it may be in the long-term interest of organizations to send an ethical rather than a ruthless negotiator to the table.

In short, this study shows that highly agreeable people can negotiate good, but this may be conditional on the other negotiator being high HH. More generally, people seem to prefer to negotiate with others high on HH.

Correspondence about this study may be addressed to the lead author, Dr. Patrick Dunlop, Faculty of Science, School of Psychological Science, the University of Western Australia (M304), 35 Stirling Highway, 6009 Perth, Australia. Dr. Dunlop can be contacted via email on The article can be found here. More information on the data, methods, and analyses can be found on the project OSF page.

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