The Psychology of Dispute Resolution

A key requirement before any settlement, and especially an early resolution, is for the settlement process to satisfy  the psychological needs of the decision-makers as soon as possible.  These  needs affect what  parties are willing to accept or commit to including money. A key role of the mediator is to diagnose those needs before the start of negotiations and to recommend a settlement process which treats  that diagnosis. Too many mediators do not spend enough time during pre-mediation to anticipate these issues before the start of negotiations.  Also too many mediators are not trained to  understand how human psychological factors, including biases and heuristics, effect decisions to settle disputes.

The following  pages are useful resources to help educate mediators and negotiators about these issues.

IDR Cycle and the Psychology of Mediation