J. Lack The Neurophysiology Of Conflict A Mediators Perspective (Cisa, Geneva, 17.12.08)

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A great presentation melding neuropsychology with the process of mediation. Well worth the read.

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J. Lack The Neurophysiology Of Conflict A Mediators Perspective (Cisa, Geneva, 17.12.08)

  1. 1. The Neurophysiology of Conflict: A Mediator’s Perspective Jeremy LACK Counsel & Attorney-at-Law, ALTENBURGER (CH) Door Tenant, QUADRANT CHAMBERS (UK) Counsel PCZLAW (US) Commercial Mediator (SCCM, WIPO, CEDR, CMAP, IPOS) Zürich Genève Seestrasse 39 Rue Rodolphe-Toepffer 11bis CH - 8700 Küsnacht CH - 1206 Genève Tel. +41 44 914 88 88 Tel. +41 22 789 50 20 mail@altenburger.ch mail@altenburger.ch 1 © B. Sambeth Glasner & J. Lack 2008. All rights reserved. www.altenburger.ch
  2. 2. Outline Part I: Introduction to Conflict Resolution methodologies (mediation) Part II: An attempt to look at the brain & techniques in mediation 2 © B. Sambeth Glasner & J. Lack 2008. All rights reserved. www.altenburger.ch
  3. 3. General Caveat This sort of presentation is particularly dangerous when given by unqualified, non-scientific, dilettante, lawyers! This presentation will be • Non-scientific • Non-empirical • Fundamentally flawed • Highly subjective Some of this will be blindingly obvious (e.g., Mr. Jourdain reciting prose). 3 © B. Sambeth Glasner & J. Lack 2008. All rights reserved. www.altenburger.ch
  4. 4. Metaphores only, using “brain regionalization” concepts “Your brain is divided into two hemispheres. The left hemisphere is sequential, textual, and analytical. The right hemisphere is simultaneous, contextual, and synthetic. Of course, we enlist both halves of our brains for even the simplest tasks. And the respective traits of the two hemispheres have often been caricatured well beyond what the science actually reveals. But the legitimate scientific differences between the two hemispheres of the brain do yield a powerful metaphor for interpreting our present and guiding our future.” From the Introduction to A WHOLE NEW MIND, Daniel Pink. Concept: Michael Leathes and http://news.bbc.co.uk/cbbcnews/hi/sci_tech/newsid_2191000/2191138.stm 4 © B. Sambeth Glasner & J. Lack 2008. All rights reserved. www.altenburger.ch
  5. 5. Alternative Conflict Resolution Methods Appropriate Dispute Resolution (ADR) Least Evaluative Least Structured Consensual Parties in control Least Formal NEGOTIATION MEDIATION Source: J. Kalowski, JOK Consulting INDEPENDENT EXPERT APPRAISAL CONCILIATION NEUTRAL EVALUATION ARBITRATION Most Evaluative ADJUDICATION Adversarial Most Structured Third party in control Most Formal 5 © B. Sambeth Glasner & J. Lack 2008. All rights reserved. www.altenburger.ch
  6. 6. Arbitration … Resolution Source: Joanna Kalowski A P1 P2 6 © B. Sambeth Glasner & J. Lack 2008. All rights reserved. www.altenburger.ch
  7. 7. … Conciliation … Source: Joanna Kalowski Resolution Precedent C Justice Statute P1 P2 OBJECTIVE FAIRNESS 7 © B. Sambeth Glasner & J. Lack 2008. All rights reserved. www.altenburger.ch
  8. 8. … Mediation Source: Joanna Kalowski Resolution P1 P2 M SUBJECTIVE FAIRNESS 8 © B. Sambeth Glasner & J. Lack 2008. All rights reserved. www.altenburger.ch
  9. 9. A Definition of Mediation “The process by which the participants, with the assistance of a neutral person or persons, systematically isolate disputed issues in order to develop options, consider alternatives and reach a consensual agreement that will accommodate their needs.” Folberg & Taylor Commercial Mediation, 1984 This can be about issues of substance and issues of process. Mediators are NOT providing therapy or dealing with abnormal behaviour, but only seeking to use short intervention techniques, to facilitate cortical thinking in the brain. 9 © B. Sambeth Glasner & J. Lack 2008. All rights reserved. www.altenburger.ch
  10. 10. Statistics for mediation (Source: ACB, NL 2006) Average duration of a mediation 4 x ½ day sessions No. of disputes resolved in a single mediation 15% Percentage of cases reaching a settlement 79% Willingness of the parties to repeat mediation 92% Average value of thedispute Euro 5 million Average cost Euro 3,500.00 / party http://www.mediation-bedrijfsleven.nl/english.shtml 10 © B. Sambeth Glasner & J. Lack 2008. All rights reserved. www.altenburger.ch
  11. 11. The Evolution of Man Source: http://www.didntyouhear.com/wp- content/uploads/2006/10/evolution1.jpg 11 © B. Sambeth Glasner & J. Lack 2008. All rights reserved. www.altenburger.ch
  12. 12. Conflict: We need to take a new look at ourselves VS. Vitruvian Man Sensory Homunculus Man How we like to perceive ourselves How our brains are actually wired 12 © B. Sambeth Glasner & J. Lack 2008. All rights reserved. www.altenburger.ch
  13. 13. Typical Approaches to Dispute Resolution Source: J. Kalowski 13 © B. Sambeth Glasner & J. Lack 2008. All rights reserved. www.altenburger.ch
  14. 14. The rights-based approach to dispute resolution THE LEGAL SYLLOGISM (an equation): Facts (past & present) + Applicable law(s) = Outcomes (« conclusions ») “We have to rely only on objective facts”. “We have a “sacred duty” to find the truth.” 14 © B. Sambeth Glasner & J. Lack 2008. All rights reserved. www.altenburger.ch
  15. 15. Facts = Perceptions: Unconscious Biases VS. “Rational” Biases “Irrational” Biases Old v. Young Woman Which way does she turn? http://nexusnovel.files.wordpress.com/2006/10/old-younglady.jpg http://www.news.com.au/dailytelegraph/story/0,22049,22535838-5012895,00.html 15 © B. Sambeth Glasner & J. Lack 2008. All rights reserved. www.altenburger.ch
  16. 16. Can neutrals “escape” their mental models? 16 © B. Sambeth Glasner & J. Lack 2008. All rights reserved. www.altenburger.ch
  17. 17. All conflicts resemble a piece of cheese … Perception = subjective reality NB. We are NOT dealing with abnormal behaviour, nor therapy. 17 © B. Sambeth Glasner & J. Lack 2008. All rights reserved. www.altenburger.ch
  18. 18. The source of disputes … IncoMprehension ? 18 © B. Sambeth Glasner & J. Lack 2008. All rights reserved. www.altenburger.ch
  19. 19. A dispute is never about what it is about … Although the “objective” The Facts aspects of the The Law(s) dispute may be The Positions apparent … Misunderstandings Perceptions Emotions Interests … the “subjective” Concerns aspects remain to Feelings be discovered. Beliefs Values Needs Fears 19 © B. Sambeth Glasner & J. Lack 2008. All rights reserved. www.altenburger.ch
  20. 20. The Principles of Getting to Yes • Separate the people from the problem • Focus on interests v. positions (subj. needs v. strategies) • Understand alternatives (BATNA/WATNA/PATNA) • Brainstorm: invent possibilities without assessing them (in view of needs) • Seek options for mutual gain (in view of needs) • Assess options (in view of needs) • Try to always use objective criteria Although the parties can often negotiate directly there is a systemic benefit to having a third party present. The presence of and focus on a neutral tranquilizes the amygdala, and allows the other party to listen without having to react. The neutral can also help create “frequency-shifting” activities. 20 © B. Sambeth Glasner & J. Lack 2008. All rights reserved. www.altenburger.ch
  21. 21. The Diagnosis Target zone for conflict resolution 1 Disagreement The Problem 2 Debate+polemic The people 3 Actions, not words 4 Images and coalitions WIN-WIN 5 Deliberate loss of face 6 Management of threat 7 Limited destr- WIN-LOSE uctive blows 8 Fragmentation of the enemy 9 Together into the abyss LOSE-LOSE Inspired by: Tina Monberg Mediation has a special impact at Step 4 Source: F. Glasl’s “Confronting Conflict” 21 © B. Sambeth Glasner & J. Lack 2008. All rights reserved. www.altenburger.ch
  22. 22. A Holistic Approach to Conflict Resolution Fundamentals VALUES NEEDS Constraints Strategies Focus Options OUTCOMES OUTCOMES ISSUES Interests Positions Alternatives 22 © B. Sambeth Glasner & J. Lack 2008. All rights reserved. www.altenburger.ch
  23. 23. Mediation + other ADR = “full picture” dispute resolution The Facts Arbitration or The Law(s) litigation The Positions Misunderstandings + Perceptions Emotions Interests Mediation Concerns Feelings Beliefs Values = Needs Fears a more complete dispute resolution process? 23 © B. Sambeth Glasner & J. Lack 2008. All rights reserved. www.altenburger.ch
  24. 24. Outline Part I: Introduction to Conflict Resolution methodologies (mediation) Part II: An attempt to look at the brain & techniques in mediation 24 © B. Sambeth Glasner & J. Lack 2008. All rights reserved. www.altenburger.ch
  25. 25. The Triune Brain: 3 Levels of Evolution See : Paul D. MacLean http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Triune_brain Source: Source: http://www.cop.com/info/346edb.gif http://www.solarnavigator.net/biology/biology_ima ges/brain_animal_comparisons.jpg 25 © B. Sambeth Glasner & J. Lack 2008. All rights reserved. www.altenburger.ch
  26. 26. Emotions: A gateway for mediators Perception is 100% emotional (whatever we would like to believe). Emotions reflect our needs and interests. Source: http://cti.itc.virginia.edu/~psyc220/kalat/JK379.fig12.13.amygdala_con.jpg http://cti.itc.virginia.edu/~psyc220/kalat/JK379.fig12.13.amygdala_con.jpg The amygdala act as a rapid relevance detector: They act as a switch between “reptilian” and “cortical” thinking. 26 © B. Sambeth Glasner & J. Lack 2008. All rights reserved. www.altenburger.ch
  27. 27. Cognitive Dissonances (Leon Festinger, 1957) If two cognitions are relevant to one another, they are either consonant or dissonant. Two cognitions are consonant if one follows from the other, and they are dissonant if the obverse (opposite) of one cognition follows from the other. The existence of dissonance, being psychologically uncomfortable, motivates the person to reduce the dissonance and leads to avoidance of information likely to increase the dissonance. The greater the magnitude of the dissonance, the greater is the pressure to reduce dissonance. Festinger’s Smoking Example: A habitual smoker who learns that smoking is bad for health will experience dissonance, because the knowledge that smoking is bad for health is dissonant with the cognition that he continues to smoke. He can reduce the dissonance by changing his behavior, that is, he could stop smoking, which would be consonant with the cognition that smoking is bad for health. Alternatively, the smoker could reduce dissonance by changing his cognition about the effect of smoking on health and believe that smoking does not have a harmful effect on health (eliminating the dissonant cognition). He might look for positive effects of smoking and believe that smoking reduces tension and keeps him from gaining weight (adding consonant cognitions). Or he might believe that the http://ankb.stumbleupon.com/ risk to health from smoking is negligible compared with the danger of automobile accidents (reducing the importance of the dissonant cognition). In addition, he might consider the enjoyment he gets from smoking to be a very important part of his life (increasing the importance of consonant cognitions). Source: Cognitive Dissonance: Progress on a Pivotal Theory in Social Psychology Edited by Eddie Harmon-Jones and Judson Mills 27 © B. Sambeth Glasner & J. Lack 2008. All rights reserved. www.altenburger.ch
  28. 28. A number of factors affect Cognitive Dissonances Source: http://chiron.valdosta.edu/mawhatley/9710/cogdiss.JPG 28 © B. Sambeth Glasner & J. Lack 2008. All rights reserved. www.altenburger.ch
  29. 29. The Amgydala: A (metaphorical) target for mediators? The amygdala: • A gateway for emotions: they create stress/fearful stimuli before the cortex has had time to assess them. • A storage place for autobiographical memory (in ICMs?) • Can dominate and prevent reasoned cortical thinking once activated • A relevance detector & switch: process whether stimuli should be treated as a threat and whether they should be reacted-to sub- cortically (without time for thought) or in conjunction with the cortex (especially, the orbitofrontal cortex (“OFC”)) • A perception modulator: they can affect how rapidly we absorb certain information (e.g., if a possible threat is perceived) and even filter and distort perceptions, based on emotions and previous memories stored in the OFC. • Basis of the OFC-Amygdala feedback circuit: the amygdala and OFC affect one-another (directly & indirectly via the hypothalamus). • This combination determines how stimuli can Source: be received, processed and transmitted for http://www.astralvoyage.com/projection/images/amygdala2.jpg further action by a human being. 29 © B. Sambeth Glasner & J. Lack 2008. All rights reserved. www.altenburger.ch
  30. 30. Oxytocin & Mirror Neurons: Impact on Amygdala In conclusion, our data reveal a pronounced impact of oxytocin on amygdala reactivity and brainstem interactions in humans, extending a large body of work on neuropeptide regulation of complex behavior to this species by establishing an effect of oxytocin on a key component of affective and social processing. We hope that this work will contribute to the development of therapeutic interventions with oxytocin or synthetic agonists in diseases in which amygdala dysfunction has been implicated, including anxiety disorders, depression, and autism. 30 © B. Sambeth Glasner & J. Lack 2008. All rights reserved. www.altenburger.ch
  31. 31. Bringing Oxytocin Into the Room • Using Emotions in Mediation (R. Fisher & D. Shapiro BEYOND REASON) 2006 - APPRECIATION - AFFILIATION - AUTONOMY - STATUS - ROLE • Discuss basic values as to process • Clearly identify and list on a flipchart the needs or interests of each party • Establish a mutual recognition of the other party’s needs • Demonstrate willingness to work towards “win-win” outcomes • Must be genuine / authentic for it to resonate positively with mirror neurons and dampen the amygdala. 31 © B. Sambeth Glasner & J. Lack 2008. All rights reserved. www.altenburger.ch
  32. 32. K. Cloke: Conflict Revolution “Changing the way we change” “On a purely chemical level, scientists are now aware of dozens of enzymes, hormones, neurotransmitters, and chemical compounds that have a critical impact on the attitudes and behaviors of people undergoing change or conflict. There is, for instance, adrenalin that triggers the “fight or flight” response; testosterone that stimulates aggression; oxytocin that instills trust, increases loyalty, and promotes the “tend and befriend” response; estrogen that triggers the release of oxytocin; endorphins that reinforce collaborative experiences with pleasure; dopamine that generates a reward response and fortifies addiction; phenylethylaline that induces excitement and anticipation; and vasopressin that encourages monogamy among males in a variety of species. On a somewhat larger scale, there are genes and proteins that direct the manufacture of these chemicals and shape -- not only our physical appearance, personality traits, and predisposition to risk-taking -- but immune responses that can be detected by means of smell, influencing perceptions of attractiveness and repulsion. In addition, there are a host of other chemical compounds and prescription drugs that are capable of accentuating or minimizing, instigating or discouraging collaborative and adversarial behaviors, both in change and conflict. For example, scientists have traced the development of empathy in primates, including human beings, to “mirror neurons” that fire in the brain of an observer, replicating the experience the one who is observed. Thus, when we watch someone suffer or become frightened, similar neurons fire in our brains, reproducing those experiences. On a more macroscopic scale, the brain is divided into two hemispheres, each of which processes conflict and change experiences somewhat differently, emphasizing logical reasoning, linear thinking, pattern perception, and emotional responses. The brain is subdivided into regions that directly influence conflict behaviors. There is, for example, the ventral tegmental area that reinforces the reward circuit; the nucleus accumbens directly beneath the frontal cortex that releases oxytocin; the hypothalamus that produces testosterone; and most importantly, the amygdala, an almond shaped region near the brain stem that regulates our conflict and change responses, especially anger and fear.” Conflict Revolution: Mediating Evil, War, Injustice and Terrorism, Janis Publications (2008) pp. 337-38 32 © B. Sambeth Glasner & J. Lack 2008. All rights reserved. www.altenburger.ch
  33. 33. 1. Translating between the Cortical and Reptilian Pathways What happens if we believe our needs are threatened? Can we “shift frequencies” by “translating” reptilian expression/perception into cortical thought/perception? GIRAFFE WOLF S We respond P differently to E stimuli … A K H Depending E on how we A hear them … R Source: Marshall Rosenberg: “Nonviolent Communication” 33 © B. Sambeth Glasner & J. Lack 2008. All rights reserved. www.altenburger.ch
  34. 34. 2. Reframing & Creating Choices Frames, Biases, and Rational Decision-Making in the Human Brain Benedetto De Martino,* Dharshan Kumaran, Ben Seymour, Raymond J. Dolan; Wellcome Department of Imaging Neuroscience (UK) Human choices are remarkably susceptible to the manner in which options are presented. This so- called "framing effect" represents a striking violation of standard economic accounts of human rationality, although its underlying neurobiology is not understood. We found that the framing effect was specifically associated with amygdala activity, suggesting a key role for an emotional system in mediating decision biases. Moreover, across individuals, orbital and medial Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) shows prefrontal cortex activity predicted a reduced amygdala activity that represents an emotional signal, susceptibility to the framing effect. This finding which pushes subjects to keep sure money and gamble highlights the importance of incorporating instead of taking a loss in gaming simulations. Activity in emotional processes within models of human OMPFC best predicted individuals' susceptibility to the choice and suggests how the brain may modulate framing effect. De Martino speculates that the OMPFC the effect of these biasing influences to integrates emotional signals from the amygdala with approximate rationality. cognitive information, such as the knowledge that both Science 4 August 2006: Vol. 313. no. 5787, pp. 684 – 687 options are equally good. "People who are more rational Source http://economistsview.typepad.com/economistsview/2006/08/the_framing_eff.html don't perceive emotion less, they just regulate it better." 34 © B. Sambeth Glasner & J. Lack 2008. All rights reserved. www.altenburger.ch
  35. 35. 3. Looping -- a “frequency-shifting” technique 1. You inquire 2. The other person responds 3. You demonstrate your understanding and test it with the other person 4. Did they confirm your understanding? (a) If no, go back to step 1 (b) If yes, ask another question and “loop” again. Can the disputants loop one-another’s needs? What is the effect on the amygdala/cortical interactions? Does this induce oxcytocin release? Based on Robert Mnookin Beyond Winning 2000 1st ed. pp. 63-65, and the teachings of Gary Friedman and Jack Himmelstein 35 © B. Sambeth Glasner & J. Lack 2008. All rights reserved. www.altenburger.ch
  36. 36. 4. Self-Awareness: The 3 Conversations in all Conflicts 1. What happened? – Perceptions v. facts – Intentions v. impacts – Blame v. contributive responsibility 2. How did we feel? 3. Self-identity – Am I good? – Am I competent? – Am I worthy? Source: D. Stone, B. Patton & S. Heen, Difficult Conversations: How to Discuss What Matters Most 36 © B. Sambeth Glasner & J. Lack 2008. All rights reserved. www.altenburger.ch
  37. 37. 4. Non-Violent Communication Formulations An “algorithm” for avoiding amygdala activation: 1. When the … (de-personifies) 2. I feel … (facilitates expression of emotion) 3. Because I … (provides a rational basis) 4. Would you mind … (facilitates a “no” answer)? Source: Marshall Rosenberg: “Nonviolent Communication” + David Bernstein 37 © B. Sambeth Glasner & J. Lack 2008. All rights reserved. www.altenburger.ch
  38. 38. 5. Using Structured Creativity: e.g., De Bono’s 6 Hats Group dynamics may stimulate mirror neuron pathways and open new channels for thought 38 © B. Sambeth Glasner & J. Lack 2008. All rights reserved. www.altenburger.ch
  39. 39. 7. Other mediation techniques to stimulate new pathways • The presence of the mediator in itself (w hoto address: judge but no power?) • Systemic dynamics (e.g., constellation therapy) • Using Narrative Theory (archetypes: victim, monster, warrior, magician) • Letting off steam (the fulcrum model of emotion v. logic) • Agreeing on points of disagreement (= parties looping one-another’s disagreements) • Aiming for a “connection of the heart” (= parties loop one-another’s needs) • Positive energy and humour (or surprise and consensual pressure tactics) • Practical exercises, use of games, and recreational breaks • Appreciative-based enquiry and possible art work • Role playing & role reversal • Brainstorming on options for mutual gain (without evaluating) • Limiting discussion to personal needs only (strict definition) and how to satisfy them • Confidence-building measures • Extreme “out-door” exercises or team events • Team games and joint construction projects • NLP & mirroring back non-verbal communication • Setting procedural steps that will guarantee outcomes (e.g., MEDALOA) 39 © B. Sambeth Glasner & J. Lack 2008. All rights reserved. www.altenburger.ch
  40. 40. Some reactions to previous speakers‘ presentations Per Eddie Harmon-Jones • Focus on values and needs: The use of empathy to create sympathy early on in mediation (e.g., mutual assessment / understanding of needs) may “dampen” subsequent anger reactions. (But literature shows it is ability to showe appreciation of perspectives that matters more than ability to empathize). • Importance of seating: being upright v. reclined chairs affects management of anger. Reclined decreases LH PFC activation. Per James Blair • Pathologies are not the same as “normal” people • Focus on perceived needs and interests • But can mediation work with psychopaths (based on a needs-oriented approach)? (According to M. Rosenberg, the answer seems to be “yes”) • The addition/evolved need to bond: modulation (but not impairment) of mirror neurons and oxytocin affecting motivation? • Can one aim for a “Connection of the heart” – establishing mutual recognition of needs? • Must be genuine / authentic for it to resonate with mirror neurons 40 © B. Sambeth Glasner & J. Lack 2008. All rights reserved. www.altenburger.ch
  41. 41. A Holistic Approach to Conflict Resolution Fundamentals VALUES NEEDS Constraints Strategies Focus Options OUTCOMES OUTCOMES ISSUES Interests Positions Alternatives 41 © B. Sambeth Glasner & J. Lack 2008. All rights reserved. www.altenburger.ch

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