- In this research we focus on the roles of experience and understanding in fostering integrative negotiation performance. We report on two experiments in which we distinguish between understanding opponents' general priorities among issues versus understanding their specific gains for particular offers. Although experience enhanced integrative performance even in the absence of understanding, we found that understanding the specific gains had an incremental effect on performance. We conclude that while generally acknowledging opponents' interests is not sufficient, the additional inferential step of assessing their specific gains throughout the negotiation process is advantageous. 2006 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.