A Psychological Toolbox for Mediators: From Theory and Research to Best Practices

  • Klaus Harnack
Part of the Industrial Relations & Conflict Management book series (IRCM)


Maslow’s law of the instrument describes the common phenomenon that once we discovere a way to solve a problem, we tend to use this solution over and over again regardless the specific situation at hand. Especially when the cognitive and emotional load is high, we are more likely to rely on available heuristics Considering that conflict situations are often cognitively and emotionally loaded, the disputants tend to use available heuristics, for instance the fixed pie assumption: the tendency to share divisible goods in a 50–50 manner without considering the underlying interests. As the mediator facilitates the process of conflict resolution, it is the task of the mediator to be aware of these tendencies and to make sure that parties do not fall prey to these heuristics, and instead make parties focus on the underlying interests. The present chapter selects, illustrates, and transforms psychological theories and empirical findings into applicable tools to furnish the psychological toolbox of practitioners in the field of mediation.


Mediation Process Prevention Focus Psychological Distance Promotion Focus Psychological Tool 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institut für PsychologieWestfälische Wilhelms-Universität MünsterMünsterGermany

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