Defining Partiality

Defining Partiality

How to define partiality? Within the alternative dispute resolution sphere, the word partiality, or more commonly impartiality, is used often, but for some new to the field, it can be difficult to define.  I t often feels like a type of action that would normally be easily identifiable, but in the world of alternative dispute …

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Profound New Insights on Conflict and Client Psychology

As a kid I used to enjoy looking through glasses of water at the objects beyond because, depending upon the shape of the glass or the flow of the water, the images became distorted, bent, and often produced some pretty funny results. What I didn’t realize at the time was that with or without a …

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The Broken Family

The Central Valley of California, known for its good weather and rich soil, is considered the breadbasket of the country. The many people who live in this agricultural community work hard. They know that the literal fruits of their labors feed people, and they are proud of their role in society. They are strong believers …

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The Fundamental Attribution Error in Mediation

Have you ever had someone blame you for something when there was nothing you could have done to change the situation? For example, have you ever made a promise to someone (say, to be at a certain place at a certain time) had something come up, and then have them become offended – where they …

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The Zen-Resolution Revolution

Ever have one of those moments where you were just so frustrated that you couldn’t think straight? Where all you could think about was the problem or source of your anxiety or anger? Where you couldn’t stop thinking about it – milling about it – no matter how hard you tried? Of course you have, …

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The Mixed-Motive Exchange

We humans are social, but also individual. We often need help to succeed or excel. For example, early man was a poor match for a mastodon or prehistoric bison. He could hunt or gather smaller, less nutritious food alone. But he needed to hunt in a group if he were to take such dangerous high …

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Mediation as the Unlicensed Practice of Psychology?

It is common knowledge among mediators, as well as the general public, that the unlicensed practice of law (UPL) is illegal. While there is some debate on what constitutes the “practice of law,” the rule is clear that a mediator may not practice law. On the other hand, many consider experienced attorneys and judges to …

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How Conflict Psychology Can Influence Judgement and Sentencing

Inter-group conflict—Montagues vs. Capulets, Sharks vs. Jets, Crips vs. Bloods—often culminates in episodes of unplanned, catastrophic violence. These cathartic but often gruesome incidents must then be interpreted after the fact by the stereotypically level-headed third parties called upon by the criminal justice system to prosecute, defend, and ultimately judge the perpetrators. These professionals’ understanding of …

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Workplace Behavior Rewarded is Behavior Repeated

Behavioral Psychology is a well-known method used across the world for everything from training dogs to treating phobias. B.F. Skinner is one of the most widely recognized contributors to Behaviorism and brought us the idea of “operant conditioning”—the idea that we can condition ourselves and others through the use of reinforcements. Operant conditioning suggests that …

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