Although the article may have some contradictions, I suggest that you read "Can our brains help us solve conflicts?" (BBC News Magazine).
An example of a possible contradiction is when Baroness Susan Greenfield is quoted as saying:
She also says a neutral third party, such as a friend, arbitration service, or statesman, can act as "Mr or Ms Beige" and guide the conflict resolution.
Later in the article, her co-speaker lawyer and mediator Jeremy Lack was quoted about the environment in which US and Soviet representatives negotiated.
The woods are not bland. But, if the trees facilitated communication, the walk among them is likely a good example of Attention Restoration Theory (ART). (My past posts on ART: here and here.) One dispute resolution environment is not going to be the best fit for all clients; this is another instance of one size not fitting all.
Before I sign off so you can read the article, let me point out one study that Lady Greenfield mentions, although not specifically. I recognized which research she was describing because I have long thought the study is probably an indication (yes, I know I am extrapolating) that we should be teaching our clients about their brains.
Lady Greenfield says that simply telling children about the brain's plasticity – proving their ability to learn – can drastically improve their educational performance.
I think (and have only my experience to back this up) that telling clients about their brain's (and mind's) ability to resolve conflict, and about the obstacles the brain throws up to resolution, will improve resolution "performance." Here is the study [pdf] to which I believe Lady Greenfield is referring.
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