Find Mediators Near You:

Indecision-Making: Science Helps Explain The Basis For Voluntary Consent

There’s an interesting Book Review in this morning’s New York Times on “The Art of Choosing” by Sherrna Iyengar. The study is based upon a famous “jam experiment” where shoppers were offered either six different jams to sample or thirty. Surprisingly, although more shoppers stopped by the table with more samples, ten times more sales were made at the table with the limited choices! The new study takes it a step further to look at the role of culture and religion in choice. Her findings reveal that Anglo college students respond most favorably when they have maximal choice, whereas Asian children performed better in response to a cue that they were instructed to do a particular task by their mothers! Significantly (for mediators, I thought), both groups resisted commands that were made by a stranger, third party. Ms. Iyengar’s findings also demonstrated that members of more fundamentalist faiths demonstrated more optimism than those without strict belief systems in a higher power. She discounts this finding by reminding readers that the study was conducted in the U.S., where members of a particular faith remain in that system by choice. A provocative study which informs some difficult mediations for me. Too many choices can lead to obstacles instead of opportunities. And finding those options which the parties themselves offer can be much more effective than the mediator’s proposal. Liberating and informative!

                        author

Jan Frankel Schau

Attorney Jan Frankel Schau is a highly skilled neutral, engaged in full-time dispute resolution. Following a successful career spanning two decades in litigation, she has mediated over 700 cases for satisfied clients. Ms. Schau understands the nuances of trial and settlement practice as well as client relations and balancing the… MORE >

Featured Members

ad
View all

Read these next

Category

How Does a Mediator Help Families Resolve Conflict? – Video

Is your family or someone you know going through a rough patch and wondering when might it be necessary to bring in a mediator? Watch this video if you'd like...

By Bob Bordone
Category

Stop and Think … Before Suing!

From Phyllis Pollack's Blog  Californians have a reputation for being litigious; for making mountains out of mole hills. Judge Kozinski of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals minces no words...

By Phyllis Pollack
Category

Mandatory Mediation: A Comparative Review of How Legislatures in California and Ontario are Mandating the Peacemaking Process In Their Adversarial Systems

Mediation is a process in which a third party neutral intervenes in a dispute to assist the parties in reaching a mutually acceptable resolution.  At its purest, mediation is a...

By Jennifer Winestone
×