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A variety of strategies were identified in interview‐based chronologies of ordinary interpersonal conflicts. Verbal confrontation with the adversary was the most common…
A variety of strategies were identified in interview‐based chronologies of ordinary interpersonal conflicts. Verbal confrontation with the adversary was the most common strategy and usually preceded other approaches. Efforts to arrange mediation and arbitration were extremely rare, though third parties were approached for other reasons in most of the cases. It was possible to distinguish complainants from respondents in 61 percent of the cases. Respondents employed more problem solving and apology than complainants, while complainants employed marginally more pressure tactics.
This research concerned preference and choice among six procedures commonly used to resolve disputes. Two experiments revealed that, compared to complainants, respondents…
This research concerned preference and choice among six procedures commonly used to resolve disputes. Two experiments revealed that, compared to complainants, respondents liked inaction and disliked arbitration. However, the most striking findings concerned general preferences among the procedures: consensual procedures (negotiation, mediation, and advisory‐arbitration) were best liked, followed by arbitration, with inaction and struggle least liked. Further analysis suggested that perceptions of self‐interest and societal norms underlie these procedural preferences, with the latter perceptions apparently more important. An examination of choices among the procedures revealed that negotiation was by far the most common first choice of action. If negotiation failed to resolve the conflict, the following escalative sequence of actions was typically endorsed: mediation, then advisory arbitration, then arbitration, and finally struggle.
A simulated price war between two competing gas stations provided the context to assess the effects on de‐escalation of the subject's financial shortage, the competitor's…
A simulated price war between two competing gas stations provided the context to assess the effects on de‐escalation of the subject's financial shortage, the competitor's financial shortage, and a message from the competitor conveying a non‐exploitative intent. Subject shortages encouraged gasoline price increases (de‐escalation) and competitor shortages encouraged price decreases (escalation). Subjects who were suffering a financial shortage rated their competitor as less likely to cooperate and more likely to exploit them than those who were not. Results were discussed in terms of a simplification of Pruitt and Kimmel's (1977) goal‐expectation hypothesis. One possible explanation for our results is that subjects make a comparison of relative strength before choosing either to de‐escalate or escalate.
In two experiments on reactions to persistent annoyance from another person, participants employed a very orderly verbal escalation sequence that fit a cascading Guttman…
In two experiments on reactions to persistent annoyance from another person, participants employed a very orderly verbal escalation sequence that fit a cascading Guttman scale. This began with requests and moved on to demands, and then to complaints, angry statements, threats, harassment, and abuse, in that order. The more escalated the tactic, the fewer people used it. People seldom skipped a step on the way to their most escalated tactic. Two possible explanations for this pattern seemed plausible in light of the data, that it is due to either a widely snared try‐try‐again script or a declining hierarchy of thresholds. Verbal escalation was associated with a negative view of the annoyer's character, while physical escalation was associated with blame and feelings of frustration and anger. Escalation was discouraged by membership in the same group as the annoyer. Loud noise did not encourage escalation in general but promoted the use of angry statements.
This observational and interview study investigated the role of caucusing (private meetings between the mediator and a disputant) in community mediation. The results from…
This observational and interview study investigated the role of caucusing (private meetings between the mediator and a disputant) in community mediation. The results from 73 cases at two mediation centers indicate that mediators are more likely to caucus when disputants have a history of escalation, are hostile toward each other during the hearing, and fail to engage in joint problem solving. Caucus sessions were found to discourage direct hostility between the disputants but to encourage indirect hostility. There was also evidence that caucus sessions foster disputant flexibility and problem solving between the disputant and the mediator. However, no relationship was found between the occurrence or nature of caucusing and the likelihood of agreement or the quality of the mediated outcome.
Literature on power differentials within mediation sessions has indicated that when power imbalances are too great, mediation is not the proper venue for the resolution of…
Literature on power differentials within mediation sessions has indicated that when power imbalances are too great, mediation is not the proper venue for the resolution of these disputes. However, when there is not an incapacitating imbalance, it is possible that mediators can take steps to rectify this situation. A field study was conducted at two community dispute settlement centers in New York State, with the proceedings of 73 actual cases transcribed and then coded to: (1) determine the impact of unequal power on the outcome of interpersonal mediation; (2) examine how mediators deal with unequal power; (3) assess the impact of mediator efforts to balance power discrepancies, and (4) determine the impact of disputant characteristics on differences in power and outcome. It was found that the mediators in the present study did attempt to remedy power imbalances: by encouraging the more passive disputant to participate more in the hearing by criticizing aggressive disputants, and by asking embarrassing questions of more argumentative disputants and those taking a determined principled stance. However, contrary to expectations, it was found that mediator efforts to balance power discrepancies were not successful, power discrepancies did not lead to unequal agreements, and being a female or a minority did not lead to an unfair outcome.
This research examined the relationships among a number of outcomes of mediation. The sample consisted of 73 hearings at two dispute settlement centers in New York State…
This research examined the relationships among a number of outcomes of mediation. The sample consisted of 73 hearings at two dispute settlement centers in New York State. Predictions from goal achievement theory were contrasted with predictions from procedural justice theory. In accordance with goal achievement theory, disputants who attained their goals in the agreement indicated immediate satisfaction with that agreement and with the conduct of the hearing. However, goal achievement was unrelated to long‐run success or long‐run satisfaction with the agreement, a result which may apply primarily to the mediation of interpersonal disputes. The predictions from procedural justice theory were more successful. Disputants who perceived that the underlying problems had been aired, that the mediator had understood what they said and that they had received a fair hearing also showed immediate satisfaction with the agreement and with the conduct of the hearing. In addition, these and related perceptions—especially in the eyes of the respondent—were predictive of several aspects of long‐run success.
The purpose of this paper is to compare and contrast two formal models of escalation and de-escalation: the attractor landscape model and the S-shaped reaction function…
The purpose of this paper is to compare and contrast two formal models of escalation and de-escalation: the attractor landscape model and the S-shaped reaction function model. Also, the paper aims to enumerate conditions that affect the shape and location of reaction functions and, hence, the stability of less and more escalated states.
Both models are presented together with geometric proofs of the main assertions of the second model. Overlap and comparative strengths of the models are reviewed. Parts of the social science literature are synthesized in a discussion of the antecedents of stability.
Though derived from totally different traditions, these models are similar in their basic assumptions and predictions. Each model has value. The attractor landscape model is easier to grasp and contains a concept of resistance to escalation that is not found in the S-shaped reaction function model. The latter model looks at individual parties rather than the dyad as a whole and, thus, offers an explanation for most of the phenomena described by the former model. It also allows identification of many variables that affect the shape and location of reaction functions and, hence, can be viewed as antecedents of escalation and de-escalation.
Seven testable hypotheses are presented in the Conclusions section. Laboratory tasks for testing such hypotheses have yet to be developed and there is only one study employing real-life measures. However, it is clear that once research on these phenomena really begins, new variables will be found that moderate the strength of the effects hypothesized.
The models provide concepts for thinking about how to avoid runaway escalation and promote runaway de-escalation. The variables mentioned in the hypotheses suggest ways to diminish the likelihood of runaway escalation and can also be used for constructing measures of the likelihood of that phenomenon. The theories also imply that when the likelihood of runaway escalation increases, disputants should be doubly careful to avoid initiating escalative behavior.
The article is original in that the S-shaped reaction function model is refined and further developed and the proofs are new. The comparison between the models is also new, as is most of the enumeration of conditions affecting the stability of low and high escalation. The value of the article is to provide concepts and theory for thinking about escalation and de-escalation, and testable hypotheses for studying these phenomena.
This study investigated the mediations of 125 community mediators in the People's Republic of China. The mediators' reports on two mediations each—one in a community…
This study investigated the mediations of 125 community mediators in the People's Republic of China. The mediators' reports on two mediations each—one in a community (inter‐family) and one in a family (intra‐family) dispute—indicated the frequency with which they used 33 mediation techniques. In family (versus community) mediations, Chinese mediators were found to rely more heavily upon the techniques of separating the parties, getting assistance from third parties, calling for empathy, stating the other side's point of view, and utilizing logic. As for the strategies (combinations of techniques) employed, we found three distinct ones—separate, analyze together, criticize—in the family mediations. Two sets—reason together and criticize—were detected in the community mediations.
Examines the tactics used by purchasers when re‐negotiating repeatbuys of component parts. Illustrates buyers and sellers co‐operatingduring the problem solving stage of…
Examines the tactics used by purchasers when re‐negotiating repeat buys of component parts. Illustrates buyers and sellers co‐operating during the problem solving stage of the contract, e.g. identifying cost savings, however bargaining techniques tend to be more unilateral. Describes the use of imposed time pressures, supplier comparison etc. to unsettle the seller and give the buyer a competitive advantage. Concludes that sellers need to be more aware of the prevailing market in order to counteract the buyers tactics and improve their own bargaining position.