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<xTITLE>Mediation is Not the Only Arena Where Neuromyths Abound: A Highly Recommended Article</xTITLE>

Mediation is Not the Only Arena Where Neuromyths Abound: A Highly Recommended Article

by Stephanie West Allen
October 2012

Neuroscience and Conflict Resolution Blog by Stephanie West Allen

Stephanie West Allen

As attention on neuroscience from mediators grows, so does the inaccurate information and unwarranted extrapolation from the research. That's not a new observation; I have blogged about the problem many times in the past. (One antidote: See below for titles of a couple of good books to help you be a wise consumer of brain science.)

This growth of neuromyths is not happening only in the field of conflict resolution. Frontiers in Educational Psychology has just published an article detailing many of the most common neuromyths in education. Click to read "Neuromyths in education: Prevalence and predictors of misconceptions among teachers." The test at the end might be fun for you to take. Some of the neuromyths listed have been presented by mediators as accurate: for example, #15 regarding learning styles.

The article is very good. The problems described with teachers incorporating neuroscience into the classroom parallel those problems with science being imported into the conflict resolution setting. If a practitioner is going to incorporate neuroscience into his or her mediation models and processes, caution and discernment is recommended. Not everything you hear or read is accurate.

I frequently recommend these two books to increase one's ability to discern what brain research might be of practical assistance in the field.

Psychology's Ghosts: The Crisis in the Profession and the Way Back (I have probably received more thanks from people who have read this book than any other I have recommended; it's a must-read for anyone wishing to incorporate psychology or neuroscience into their work)

When Can You Trust the Experts: How to Tell Good Science from Bad in Education (not just for educators; very helpful for mediators with the goal of being savvy consumers of research)


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.

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Additional articles by Stephanie West Allen