This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 0620207.  Any opinions, findings and conclusions or recomendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation (NSF).

Some people behave as though the most important aspect of a negotiation is the agreement reached, while others maintain that being liked or respected is just as important.  Curhan, Elfenbein, & Xu (2006) surveyed a broad spectrum of lay people, negotiation researchers, and negotiation practitioners about what they value in a negotiation.  Results of cluster analysis, multidimensional scaling, and factor analysis suggested that negotiators tend to care about four basic domains feelings about instrumental outcomes, feelings about themselves, feelings about the process, and feelings about their relationships.  Curhan et al.s Subjective Value Inventory (SVI) measures these four domains of negotiation performance, helping researchers study social psychological outcomes, and helping negotiators learn to conceptualize their performance in a negotiation along multiple dimensions dimensions that may constitute precursors to long-term negotiation value.

Curhan, J. R., Elfenbein, H. A., & Xu, H. (2006).  What do people value when they negotiate?  Mapping the domain of subjective value in negotiation.  Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 91, 493-512.

[Also featured in Thompson (2005) and Lewicki, Barry, & Saunders (2007).]

Research Abstract:
Four studies support the development and validation of a framework for understanding the range of social psychological outcomes valued subjectively as consequences of negotiations. Study 1 inductively elicited and coded elements of subjective value among students, community members, and practitioners, revealing 20 categories that theorists in Study 2 sorted into four underlying subconstructs: Feelings About Instrumental Outcomes, Feelings About the Self, Feelings About the Process, and Feelings About the Relationship. Study 3 proposed a new Subjective Value Inventory (SVI) and confirmed its 4 factor structure. Study 4 presents convergent, discriminant, and predictive validity data for this SVI. Indeed, subjective value was a better predictor than economic outcomes of future negotiation decisions. Results suggest the SVI is a promising tool to systematize and encourage research on subjective outcomes of negotiation.

You can download a copy of the entire research manuscript by clicking here.
If you have questions or comments, please contact Professor Jared Curhan (

Below are links to download a copy of the SVI.

Click here to download the SVI as a PDF (Adobe Acrobat) file
Click here to download the SVI as a Microsoft Word file

The SVI can be used as a teaching tool to enhance negotiation skills.  Below is a link to download a copy of the SVI Teaching Note, published by Lewicki, Barry, and Saunders (2007).

Click here to download the SVI Teaching Note, published by Lewicki, Barry, and Saunders (2007)