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Continuity in conflict: Past events and their impact upon current mediation effectiveness

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Title: Continuity in conflict: Past events and their impact upon current mediation effectiveness
Author(s): Harris, Karen Lee
Doctoral Committee Chair(s): Carnevale, Peter J.
Department / Program: Psychology
Discipline: Psychology
Degree Granting Institution: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Degree: Ph.D.
Genre: Dissertation
Subject(s): Psychology, Social Psychology, Industrial
Abstract: Continuity in conflict is a concept that has received little attention in the mediation literature. Many conflicts do have a recurring and continuous nature. The purpose of this dissertation was to examine the relationship between past events in recurring conflicts and the effectiveness of mediation. The study focused on the effects of two particular past events: past relationships structure and past outcomes. The past relationships structure factor was comprised of three conditions: triad continuity, dyad continuity, and noncontinuity. The past outcome factor was comprised of two conditions: past success versus past failure. Participants in this study were 201 male university students. In all, 67 3-person groups were formed. Each subject participated twice over a 24-hour period. Members within triads were assigned the roles of negotiator (two negotiators) or mediator (one mediator) in a non-computerized version of a task that has been used in previous mediation research. Mediation effectiveness was the dependent variable of interest, and it was assessed through the use of outcome measures, self-report measures, and process measures. It was demonstrated that events of past conflicts (notably past relationship structures and past outcomes) affect behavior in subsequent negotiations. Furthermore, the current study took a step toward identifying some of the underlying factors which are involved in the relation between past events and current mediation effectiveness. A few results indicated that, generally, it is better to maintain an ongoing relationship with one particular mediator than with several different ones. Additionally, a "hurting stalemate" proposition was supported--the experience of past failure motivates one to take a more optimistic outlook on current talks. The implications of this study are discussed from the standpoint of both practice and research in conflict resolution.
Issue Date: 1990
Type: Text
Language: English
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/2142/19625
Rights Information: Copyright 1990 Harris, Karen Lee
Date Available in IDEALS: 2011-05-07
Identifier in Online Catalog: AAI9114260
OCLC Identifier: (UMI)AAI9114260
 

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