As defined by the Farnam Street website, confirmation bias is the “tendency to cherry-pick information that confirms our existing beliefs or ideas.” In other words, after making a decision or reaching a conclusion in which we have a vested interest, we tend to interpret any new evidence in a manner..
The ancient Jewish legal text known as the Talmud (Tractate Baba Metzia 32b) records the following rule: if Mr. A simultaneously encounters a friend who requires assistance unloading a burden from his animal, and an adversary who needs help loading a burden on to his animal, A is obligated to..
One of a mediator’s most challenging tasks is managing emotional, high conflict parties. How do you calm them down? Enforce limits on their conduct? Is there value to letting them vent? There are many opinions on the subject. In a previous post, I promised to draw insights from the Talmud..
Psychologists tell us that humans prize harmony between their actions and beliefs. Accordingly, when we act contrary to a strong belief, alarm bells go off in the brain, and we feel mental discomfort, or “dissonance.” To eliminate this tension, we can either abandon the belief or change the behavior. To..
For the inaugural post on the Merge Mediation Group blog, I’d like to briefly discuss the role of empathy in mediating disputes where there is a strong emotional component. That is, in disputes where emotions play a central role, what strategies can mediators employ to encourage disputants to step into..