This invention provides an articulated surgical instrument for use in laparoscopic surgical procedures including, in general; a handle, an elongated shaft, and an articulating tip. The instrument further includes a proximal rod, a desensitizing link, and a distal rod. The proximal rod is disposed in the shaft for reciprocating movement between a proximal position and a distal position. The distal end of the proximal rod is coupled to the desensitizing link at a first pivot point. The desensitizing link is disposed within the shaft for rotational movement about a second pivot point in response to the reciprocating movement of the proximai rod. The proximal end of the distal rod is coupled to the desensitizing link at a third pivot point. The distal rod reciprocates between a proximal position and a distal position in response to the rotational movement of the desensitizing link, and its distal end is operatively coupled to the tip such that the reciprocating movement of the distal rod causes the tip to articulate about the articulation axis. The third pivot point, however, is closer to the second pivot point than is the first pivot point such that the distal rod reciprocates over a lesser distance than does the proximal rod.