Psychology of Conflict at Pepperdine
PSYCHOLOGY OF CONFLICT
Based on findings from the social sciences, this course examines how individuals think about and relate to one another in the context of conflict. Students acquire a theoretical framework for understanding and assisting parties in conflict. Concepts explored for their usefulness in conflict resolution include the following: personality development and differences; neurotic styles, difficult people and psychological disorders; predictable cognitive biases; sources of psychological resistance to dealing with conflict such as fear of abandonment, shame, guilt and unresolved grief; stages of conflict including escalation, stalemate, de-escalation, and resolution; social origins of conflict, including differences in values, beliefs and mores; socialization of aggressive and cooperative behaviors; emotional intelligence, self-awareness and empathy; trust and altruism; anger and the limits of argumentation and rationality; prejudice and the need for enemies. The course includes at least one self-assessment instrument to enhance student awareness of individual differences in psychological styles.
Richard Reuben is the James Lewis Parks Professor of Law at the University of Missouri School of Law and a coauthor of Dispute Resolution and Lawyers (2005), a leading ADR casebook. He also was a reporter for the Uniform Mediation Act, a project of the American Bar Association and the National Conference of Commissioners on State Laws. Reuben also served as the editor of Dispute Resolution Magazine, a quarterly publication of the American Bar Association, for several years and now sits on its editorial board. He is also the founding chair of the ABA Section of Dispute Resolution's Committee on Public Policy, Consensus Building, and Democracy.