Stay up to date on everything mediation!

Subscribe to our free newsletter,
"This Week in Mediation"

Sign Up Now

Already subscribed No subscription today
<xTITLE>Neuro-Talk? Keep Talking Neuro-Talk? Talk About Things You'd Like To Know</xTITLE>

Neuro-Talk? Keep Talking Neuro-Talk? Talk About Things You'd Like To Know

by Stephanie West Allen
April 2009

From Stephanie West Allen's blog on Neuroscience and conflict resolution.

Stephanie West Allen

What In Seduction by neuroscience: Resisting the allure, I wrote about the problems with neuro-talk or using neuroscience incorrectly. That post was written nearly two years ago and I believe neuro-talk has since then greatly increased.

These days the brain is a hot topic and people will even believe otherwise implausible assertions and explanations if they are told that neuroscience proves what is being put forth as true. I hear and read some of the oddest statements about the brain and what it does and does not like. There is much New Age, pop neuroscience floating around. Beware. And be aware.

I was moved to write another neuro-talk warning when reading a post at Language Log. The post has a number of good links to aticles about neuro-talk and the misuse of neuroscience. One link goes to "Caveat Lector: The Presentation of Neuroscience Information in the Popular Media." [pdf] From the article:

[R]ecent research in cognitive psychology shows that people are often unduly swayed by neuroscience studies, ... . There is thus a danger that members of the public wiIl uncriticaIly accept neuroscience-based claims, or applications of neuroscience information to public questions and debates, without regard to their merits. Because of this danger, scientists can and should do more to monitor the ways in which these claims and applications are reported in the media.

I urge you to go to the Language Lab post and follow some of the links.

And I urge you to remember that there is so much we do not know about the brain. Question what people tell you. Be skeptical. Ask


Stephanie West Allen, JD, practiced law in California for several years, held offices in local bar associations, and wrote chapters for California Continuing Education of the Bar. While in CA, Stephanie completed several five-day mediation training programs with the Center for Mediation in Law, as well as a two-year intensive with Center co-founder Gary Friedman. She has been a mediator for over two and one-half decades.

She is the author of Triversity Fantasy — Seven Keys To Unlock Prejudice, Creating Your Own Funeral or Memorial Service: A Workbook and many articles on workplace and professional issues for such publications as Lawyer Hiring and Training Report, Colorado Nurse, The Complete Lawyer, National Law Journal, Of Counsel, Law Practice and Denver Business Journal.

Email Author
Author Website

Additional articles by Stephanie West Allen