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<xTITLE> Podcast 18: How Emotions, Behavioral Economics & Neuroscience Factor into Decision Making in Mediation</xTITLE> Podcast 18: How Emotions, Behavioral Economics & Neuroscience Factor into Decision Making in Mediation

by Lucia Kanter St. Amour, Veronica Cravener
April 2022

The Podcast, hosted by mediator Veronica Cravener, covers everything in the world of mediation. Episode 18 features Lucia Kanter St. Amour--attorney, author, international negotiation lecturer & mediator, provides a basic overview of behavioral science principles relevant to mediators and provides takeaways for how mediators can help keep parties on a productive path in mediation. 

See Episode 19: How Emotions, Behavioral Economics, and Neuroscience Factor into Decision Making for Parties in Mediation.

It is no secret that mediators work with parties when they are in the midst of difficult times.  As a mediator, are you aware of how the brain responds in a crisis?  Or have you ever wondered why it seems your mediation parties are not behaving 'rationally'?  

Episode highlights include:

  • A discussion on "the myth of rationality"
  • A discussion of the common "cognitive traps" (confirmation bias, reactive devaluation, reciprocity, and endowment effect) in conflict/negotiation/mediation
  • Facts versus emotions during conflict


Lucia Kanter St. Amour

A member of the Neuroleadership Institute, Lucia has specific training in behavioral science, and how real people act in real conflict situations and decision-making. She is the Founder and Principal of her firm, Pactum Factum, which specializes in negotiation and dispute resolution; and a Certified Online Mediator.

Lucia has been practicing law since 1998. Ten years of her practice included regular clinical teaching positions in Mediation, and Negotiation and Settlement at UC Hastings and UC Berkeley Law. She has also been a visiting lecturer at many prominent law and business universities in the U.S. and Europe; and served for a number of years as an annual Competition Judge and Mediator for the International Chamber of Commerce in Paris, France.

Lucia was one of the small team of original designers of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s pilot mediation program in 1996 for the San Francisco Regional Office, and later received her mediation certification from Harvard Law School's Program on Negotiation. She has consulted and mediated general civil and business disputes; community disputes; and specializes in employment and special education related disputes. Her law practice has included both private and public service as well as non-profit advocacy. She previously practiced employment law in Orrick's San Francisco office; and was an in-house employment attorney for the Judicial Council of California, Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC), the policymaking body for the entire California court system.

Veronica Cravener is a mediator and trainer for Mediate to Achieve, LLC, based in Columbus, Ohio, USA.  She has mediated more than 500 disputes across areas such as landlord-tenant, contracts, consumer-business, personal injury, neighbors, individual disputes over money, and post-employment disputes.  She is experienced at mediating by text message in addition to in-person and telephone mediation.  Active in the dispute resolution community, she previously served as chair of the Columbus Bar Association Alternative Dispute Resolution Committee and has written articles on mediation, including one featured on  She began her career as a mediator at a local community mediation center and also previously worked in a court-connected mediation role, having previously served as the Small Claims and Dispute Resolution Supervisor at the Franklin County Municipal Court in Columbus, Ohio.  Prior to becoming a mediator, she practiced law.  She earned her J.D. from The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law and her B.B.A. from the University of Notre Dame.