Qatar school turns a key eye to negotiating skills

Carnegie Mellon University Qatar (CMU-Q) recently teamed with its Pittsburgh counterpart in the hopes of discerning what makes someone a good negotiator.
“The idea came to us last March when we took a group of students to the Pittsburgh campus,” John O’Brien, associate dean and associate professor of accounting at CMU-Q, said. “These students were familiar with using technology to solve business problems — they won the Algorithmic Trading Hackathon, a competition where students from different disciplines created algorithms for equity markets. They were already thinking about using technology for problems in business, and the dome seemed like an excellent tool.”
Researchers examined 10 CMU-Q students engaged in a mock trading exercise inside the Panoptic Studio at Carnegie Mellon’s Robotics Institute in Pittsburgh. The studio is a geodesic dome containing hundreds of video cameras working in unison to capture even the smallest of details of human interaction.

The students were split into a buyer group and a seller group and told to aim for the highest profit possible. The researchers are now analyzing the results.
“This was an opportunity to study negotiations at a higher level,” Fuad Farooqi, assistant professor of finance at CMU-Q, said. “The cameras captured the negotiators’ eye contact, movement around the dome, and body language like head and hand gestures.”

O'Brien said the results of the study could point the direction for educators training negotiators.

“Down the road, these insights could lead to augmented reality applications," he said.

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Carnegie Mellon University Qatar

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