Neuroscience and Conflict Resolution Blog by 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)
Morton Deutsch, eminent psychologist, Columbia University professor, mentor extraordinaire, and one of the founders of the field of conflict resolution, died last March at age 97. Deutsch spent his illustrious career creatively...By Peter T. Coleman