The Role of Individual Consideration for Joint Decisions in Bargaining Situations


  • Tiam Ghorab Comenius University Bratislava



While making decisions as a team poses challenges as conflicting opinions may impede the chances for a consensus, a body of literature shows that groups outperform individual decision-makers in several tasks, especially when these groups can jointly deliberate. [1] Similar results have been shown in bargaining tasks, where groups behave more rationally than individuals. [2]

However, in such bargaining situations while group deliberation may increase individual decision performance, what is the impact of individual considerations prior to joint deliberation for group performance? Previous research suggests that next to reciprocal error reduction, the exchange of arguments may underlie greater decision accuracy of groups. [3] We, therefore, hypothesize that individual considerations before joint deliberation predict greater decision accuracy for joint decisions as the exchange of ready-made arguments may increase the efficacy of the decision aggregation process.


To investigate this question, we will employ a sequential ultimatum game where two participants form a team, acting as recipients against a single proposer. For each round, the proposer is given an amount of money and will be asked to decide on how much of it to share with the respondents who may accept and receive the offer or reject it which leads to both of the parties receiving nothing.

Team partners will communicate via a chat room while sitting in separate rooms to jointly deliberate to reach a unanimous decision. Participants will be placed in one of two conditions: either an individual deliberation condition in which they announce their individual decision first before discussing or a joint deliberation condition where they discuss immediately without individual contemplation.

Expected Results

We expect that exchanging ready-made arguments allow for more structured deliberation dynamics between partners. Therefore, we expect teams in the individual deliberation condition to perform better in terms of total sum of money acquired.


[1] H. Mercier and N. Claidière, “Does discussion make crowds any wiser?”, Cognition, vol. 222, 104912, 2022. doi:10.1016/j.cognition.2021.104912

[2] T. Kugler, E. Kausel, and M. Kocher, “Are groups more rational than individuals? A review of interactive decision making in groups”, Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Cognitive Science, vol. 3, no. 4, pp. 471-482, 2012. doi:10.1002/wcs.1184

[3] G. Dezecache et al., “Democratic forecast: Small groups predict the future better than individuals and crowds”, Journal of experimental psychology. Applied, vol. 28, no. 3, 525-537, 2022. doi:10.1037/xap0000424