Applying findings from neuroscience to inform and enhance mediator skills

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Journal Article

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Smith, C. (2015). Applying findings from neuroscience to inform and enhance mediator skills. Australasian Dispute Resolution Journal, 26(4), 249-258.

2015 HERDC submission

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Copyright © 2015 Thomson Reuters (Professional) Australia Limited




Human beings often view reality with a perception created through individual learning and experience. As such we tend to develop strong, intractable personal beliefs and opinions that, when questioned or threatened during personal conflict, automatically give rise to a number of psychological defence mechanisms counterproductive to dispute resolution. This article examines human approach and avoidance behaviours and how they may be influenced by the psychological and neurobiological processes involved during decision-making, learning and subsequent memory generation from experience. It examines how explicit and implicit memories of experience are processed and stored in different regions of the human brain, giving rise to both conscious and subconscious behaviour during conflict. This article attempts to provide mediators with a greater understanding of the psychological and physiological elements in play for participants in conflict so they may be better managed during mediation.

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This document has been peer reviewed.