Three variables hypothesized as constraints on the resolution of a conflict of interest were found to significantly influence attempts to resolve the conflict and to bias perceptions of the situation. Using a model of the political decision-making process, the three variables were arranged in a 2 x 2 x 2 design with 6 male and 6 female dyads in each cell. Conflict of interest, in which the resources could be distributed only to one party's positions, resulted in less money allocated and in perceptions of the situation as more of a win-lose competition, of compromise as more like defeat, and of the greater importance of coming out favorably, than did conflict in which the resources could be distributed between the competing positions. Formal assignment of conflict positions resulted in less money allocated, and longer negotiations, than self-design of conflict positions. An explicit link between competing conflict positions and an ideological dissensus impeded conflict resolution for males, but not for females. The latter two inhibiting influences on conflict resolution were considered aspects of representation.