Conflict resolution work can be demanding, asking much of those who practice it. Among other qualities, practitioners must ideally bring to the table an openness and curiosity to learn more about how others see and experience the world; respect and compassion; the humility to acknowledge an error and express regret for an unintended outcome; and the willingness to remain alert for their own cognitive errors and biases.
These attributes flow from the capacity for self-awareness — a quality that requires eternal vigilance and constant practice. (I cheerfully admit that I’m a slow but persistent learner myself, hopeful nonetheless that there’s truth in the adage “practice makes perfect”.)
Fortunately the internet, with its almost infinite bounty of resources, offers plenty of opportunity for self-reflective exercise, with online tools, ongoing research studies, and tests to help new and experienced dispute resolvers gain greater self-awareness. Here’s a partial list:
- The Interactive Johari Window, a tool allowing users to map personality awareness with the aid of friends, family, and colleagues.
- Face Research, online psychology experiments about preferences for faces and voices
- The Moral Sense Test, a study into human moral judgment
- The Implicit Association Test, the best known of the implicit social cognition instruments
- Northeastern Illinois University Department of Psychology Cognitive Neuropsychology Experiment Site; the current study involves perception of emotional expression
- The Cognition and Language Laboratory, ongoing experiments in language, thought, and memory
- The Perception Lab at the School of Psychology, University of St Andrews, Scotland, provides opportunities to participate in online studies on perception
- The Police Officer’s Dilemma, created by the Stereotyping & Prejudice Research Laboratory, a video game that tests the effect of racial bias on decisions to shoot.
If you’re interested in finding additional ways to both contribute to scientific advancement and continue the voyage of self-discovery, a whole list of current psychological research projects can be found on the web site for the Hanover College Psychology Department.
Michael McIlwrath, Senior Counsel, Litigation for GE Infrastructure – Oil & Gas, and the host of the outstanding ADR podcast series, International Dispute Negotiation, kindly suggested the addition of two other resources for readers:
- Wikipedia’s comprehensive list of cognitive biases
- The work on self-deception by evolutionary biologist Robert Trivers. Listen in on a conversation with Dr. Trivers about human self-deception
Thanks so much, Mike!