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Your Brain…On Music And Mediation

This article is intended
to be a multi-media experience. In addition to the written word, songs and
movie scenes are interspersed throughout. Readers can access these tunes and
films via services such as ITunes and Netflix, or access them via hotlinks on
the online version of this article that is posted on the author’s website:
(in progress)[1]

Conflict resolution has been the theme of
my professional life, but my first love was music. With teenage angst I
crooned about finding love, losing love, ending war, and making peace. To my
guitar-strummed renditions of Joni Mitchell songs I later added operas, masses,
requiems, cantatas, oratorios, lieder, motets, etc. The list of musical forms
is an endless delight.

During freshman music theory I remember
experiencing the sudden realization that I would never experience music the same
way again; never again would I be a music virgin. I was listening to the basic
stuff of music but comprehending it in an entirely different way, an analytical
way made possible by a new-found language of intervals, chords, melodies,
harmonies, key signatures, counterpoint, symphonic form, etc. Yet despite my
greater comprehension and understanding, the opening chords of Joni Mitchell’s “A
Case of You” still tugs at my heart as it did when I was 15, and Butterfly’s “Un
Bel Di” brings a sob to my throat as it did when I was one of her retinue in Puccini’s
Madame Butterfly.

We know that music has the power to
transport us to different places and times, but what does this have to do with
conflict resolution? There are many parallels between music processing and
conflict processing. A song or a simple question can conjure pleasant memories
and emotions or times of chaos, fear, disappointment, and sadness. What is the
basic fabric of patterning and memory that makes these seemingly instant
connections between past experience and the present? How much of our thinking
is actually a combination of pattern and memory occurring in a new context?
And what is the role of emotion, which appears to be a common thread?

Music and Neuroscience: What Mediators
Can Learn from Music Processing

In 1997 S. Pinker wrote in How the
Mind Works

far as biological cause and effect are concerned, music is useless. It shows
no signs of design for attaining a goal such as long life, grandchildren, or
accurate perception and prediction of the world. Compared with language,
vision, social reasoning, and physical knowhow, music could vanish from our
species and the rest of our lifestyle would be virtually unchanged.

Whether music is necessary may be debated
by some, but whether it has an impact is another matter. Examining how the
brain functions while under the influence of music gives us a more
comprehensive view of the functions necessary for reasoning and problem

Mel Brook’s 1974 hit comedy “Young
depicts a man-created monster that is completely non-responsive to linguistic
direction; he responds only to music. Music tames the beast. Music brings out
the best in capacity, not just for the monster but also for the humans who
surround him. Isn’t this what our parents feared that listening to rock music
would do to us back in the 1960s and 1970s? A recent Hungarian film entitled “Gloomy
tells how a popular melancholy song written by a Hungarian Jewish musician
during World War II induced a suicide epidemic. Music truly has an amazing
influence on mood and behavior.

Music, Memory and Emotion

Why does some music have such an
indelible impact on humans? Why do we remember songs from childhood and
adolescence with a rapidity of recall that doesn’t occur later in life? For
instance, when I hear Rod Stewart’s “Maggie May,” [4]
I am immediately transported behind the wheel to driver’s education during my
junior year of high school….cruising with my two best friends, listening to the
radio. David Levitin, in his fascinating book, This is Your Brain on Music
(2007), says that rapid neural development following birth and continuing
through mid-childhood begins to slow markedly in early adulthood when the brain
actually starts to prune these connections.[5]
Only those neural connections used the most remain. So, our musical memories
may have more to do with brain function and environmental/cultural exposure to
certain kinds of music than mere musical preference.

Levitin goes on to say that music “can be
thought of as a type of perceptual illusion in which our brain imposes
structure and order on a sequence of sounds. Just how this structure leads us
to experience emotional reactions is part of the mystery of music. After all,
we don’t get all weepy eyed when we experience other kinds of structures in our
lives, such as balancing a checkbook….” [6]
Or, do we? How do musical patterns impact emotion? How do the structures we
learn for handling conflict and doing problem solving impact emotion? When do
we learn those structures? Do those early learnings and structures impact our
emotional responses to, for instance, a simple request for meeting from a
supervisor? As a conflict resolution professional who does a significant
amount of large-scale contracting work, a simple phone message from a
contracting officer saying, “Would you please give me a call when you have a
moment” can send me immediately to that most surprising insecure part of my
child-self that I didn’t realize was there…..reading between the
lines….wondering what I’ve done wrong. When, in fact, he simply wants to talk
directly about a simple matter to ensure clarity of message, clarity that is
difficult to achieve in an email devoid of pitch, tone, timbre, volume and the
myriad shades of meaning that we detect without even needing to ask for
clarification when we are having a conversation.

Music and Patterning

In addition to the role of the neural
centers associated with the processing of emotion, the memory centers enable us
to remember musical patterns. Patterning is critical to the perception
process. Patterns enable us to make predictions about what is to come and how
to respond. The pattern re-experienced can invoke an emotional response that
may not seemingly be associated with the thing consciously perceived.
Levitin’s description of what is happening in the brain while one is listening
to music is fascinating.

our centers for higher thought—mostly in the frontal
cortex—receive…updates, they are working hard to predict what will come next
in the music, based on several factors:

What has already come
before in the piece of music we’re hearing;

What we remember will
come next if the music is familiar;

What we expect will
come next if the genre or style is familiar, based on previous exposure to this
style of music;

Any additional
information we’ve been given, such as a summary of the music that we’ve read, a
sudden movement by a performer, or a nudge by the person sitting next to us.[7]

Our brains then use this information to
create patterns that may be accurate or flawed. For example, remember the Kaniza
illusion of a white triangle lying on top of a black outlined triangle? Our
brains inferentially fill in the missing information because it fits the
patterns we expect.[8]

If you listen to a particular genre of
music, or perhaps music by a particular composer, you have a sense of being
able to predict what is going to come next. The structure of the music
provides a comforting logic. Yet some composers are famous for lulling us into
listening security, only to throw in a surprise or two. To use a popular
example, the Beatles “For No One” ends with such a deception. The logic of
most Western music relies on particular chordal progressions and usually require
the melody to end on the I or III of the musical scale….not the V, as in “For
No One” (“do” or “me, “ but not “so” of do-re-me-fa-so-la-ti-do). Likewise,
the Beatles also use a surprise cadence in “Yesterday” in that most Western
music is structured in musical phrases of four or eight measures, but
“Yesterday” has a musical structure of seven measures to the musical phrase.
As a classically trained singer, I rely upon particular patterns and musical
forms to help me predict where the musical line will go next. But when I began
singing early music that was originally written without the subdivision of time
signatures and measured bars I was disoriented….until I learned what was for me
a new structure for what was actually old music. Likewise, for a Pearl Harbor
retrospective concert some years ago I had to memorize an entire program of
Andrews Sisters music. Big band logic was not a logic that meant anything to
me as I struggled to memorize the music. Any trained musician knows that a
sonata has a particular structure, as does a symphony, as does a canon, as does
a particular blues progression. These patterns serve as short cuts for
behavior, whether it is performance behavior or listening behavior.

Listening Guide:

The following “overture” includes songs with
predictable patterns and some with surprises. Listen for some of the
following features and note which are predictable and which defy
expectation—Cadence—Rhythm—Melodic Line—Harmonies—Mode—Chordal

1.      Bach, Cantata Bvr 197:
“Gott ist unsre zuversidet”

2.      Jan Garbarek: Hilliard
Ensemble, Officium: “Sanctus” w/saxphone improvisation

3.      Ry Cooder and Ali Farka
Toure’, Talking Timbuktu, “Gomni”

4.      Ry Cooder and Ali Farka
Toure’, Talking Timbuktu, “Sega”

5.      Cesaria Evora, Café
Atlantico, “Fior Di Nha Esperanca”

6.      Winton Marsalis, Linus
and Lucy, “Snoopy at Woodstock”

7.      Andy Bey, American Song,
“Midnight Sun”

8.      Renee Fleming and Harry
Bicket, Handel, Semele, “Oh Sleep, Why Dost Thou Leave Me?”

9.      Gilbert Kalish,
Copeland, Sextet/Piano Variations, “Allegro Vivace”:

10.  Beatles, Love, “All You
Need is Love”

Note: See Conclusion
for Listening Key

So what does this all have to do with
conflict resolution, and processes like mediation? While scientists cannot yet
tell what a person is thinking or perceiving, they can tell what parts of the
brain are active and to what degree under what kinds of stimuli. So, does it
matter whether the part of the brain that processes emotion is active because
of some emotional response to music, or some emotional response to a request to
return a phone message? It is still the emotion center that is activated, and
I would argue that emotion drives all good decision-making. Contrary to a
naïve view of Aristotelian rhetoric and persuasion as strictly language based,
a truer understanding of Aristotelian rhetoric and persuasion includes not only
logos (logic), but also ethos (credibility) and pathos (emotion). No message
is effective unless it is supported by emotion.[9]

Whether I have come as a listener to rely
upon particular musical structures and patterns and experience dis-ease when
the unpredictable occurs, or whether I experience dis-ease because you have
violated a certain pattern of comfortable decision-making upon which I rely,
the memory centers of the brain are at work. Function is function, regardless
of stimulus (at least at this point in what we know about the brain). If we
can learn to understand new patterns of music, can we not then also learn new
patterns of conflict resolution? And if so, what can mediators do to help
parties use new patterns for problem solving and decision-making?

Anatomy of a Mediation

While there is little agreement regarding
a unified model of mediation, mediation processes are often structured as
problem-solving processes in which an impartial third party (mediator) assists
parties in reaching some mutually agreed resolution to their dispute or
problem. As such, problem-solving models of mediation typically include a
problem identification and understanding phase, followed by an option
generation and evaluation phase, and eventually an action-planning phase—much
as a sonata has a specific pattern of phases. Movement through these phases
requires a variety of language, listening, and analytical activities on the
parts of the participants. Rather than looking at these activities themselves,
let’s examine some of the brain functions associated with emotion and
memory/patterning that are so critical to problem solving and decision making
in a variety of contexts.

William Forde Thompson, music cognition
scientist and composer, believes “that the work of both scientists and artists
involves similar stages of development: a creative and exploratory
‘brainstorming’ stage, followed by testing and refining stages that typically
involve the application of set procedures, but are often informed by additional
creative problem-solving.” [10]
Like scientists and artists, negotiators and conflict resolvers follow similar
developmental stages.

So, what is going on in the brain when we
negotiate? If we understood the pattern of brain activity, could we find ways
to change that pattern if the one we had was an undesirable one? Could we
create new patterns that would be linked to constructive emotions, thereby
creating new memories that might serve as new templates for future
negotiations? Perhaps, just like musical predictions, our negotiations are
based upon:

What has already come
before in the negotiation;

What we remember will
come next if the negotiation is familiar;

What we expect will
come next if the pattern or style is familiar, based on previous exposure to
this type of negotiation;

Any additional
information we’ve been given…….

So, let’s
consider what we know about how these notions apply to us as mediators or negotiators.

Emotion and Mediation

In David Bogan’s
2008 article “EQ v. IQ; Do lawyers and mediators need emotional intelligence?”
Bogan recounts a recent international diplomacy disaster. The surface
storyline is about a visit to the Yasukuni Shrine in China by Japanese Prime
Minister Junichiro Koizumi. Koizumi intended to pay his respects to Japanese
World War II dead who were buried in China. While the acts themselves, the
content, seemed non-controversial to one side, they were symbolic and incited
an intensely emotional response from the other.

In the many
years during which I have provided divorce mediation services, one party or the
other has often made mention of the “final straw that broke the camel’s
back”…..that event which propelled the moving party to move toward divorce. If
you think this would be some major, unforgivable offense, you would likely be
mistaken. Rather, it seems to me that some tipping point had been reached and
one more symbolic event overwhelmed the previous stasis. Just as in the
Japan-China diplomatic disaster, the marital collapse had less to do with what
happened, and more to do with what it symbolized and the accompanying emotion.
(Ella Fitzgerald/Louis Armstrong: “Let’s Call the Whole Thing Off”)

negotiations are at some level about issues, they are also about emotions.[11]
Feelings and personal relationships are affected by a person’s emotions,
communication style, moods, perceptions, beliefs, etc., and the resulting
cognitive processes tend to occur rather automatically, for the good or the not
so good.[12]
These subjective predispositions often have an impact not only on the way we
assess the content of the negotiation, but also the participants in the
negotiation. Likewise, if we can change perspectives, we often gain different
perceptions of the content of the negotiation and the participants as well.

So, this begs
the question of how we can shift emotional anchors while negotiating. First,
if we are open to understanding our own emotions, we will likely be more open
to shifting emotional perspectives as well as reading the emotions of our
counterparts. And, what about “Emotional Intelligence,” or what Bogan calls
“Emotional Intuition”? If we don’t have “it,” can we develop “it”? Do
negotiators need it? How about mediators?

I was recently
supervising a young mediator who seemed to have difficulty getting beneath the
surface of any particular dispute. He could describe the surface content of
each party’s perspective, but was unable to describe what that person might be
thinking or feeling. Likewise, he found it particularly difficult to imagine
what someone’s “interests” might be—what that person cared about and needed
most. This was a level of awareness that largely escaped this mediator, and
handicapped his effectiveness as a mediator.

When it comes to
the decision-making part of negotiation or mediation, neurological research has
highlighted the fact that the region of the human brain primarily responsible
for rational judgment and decision-making cannot function properly without
input from regions responsible for emotion.[13]
One way that mediators can help negotiators is to frame options and ideas in
ways so that a positive bias is created in favor of something. Such positive
frames aid in the ability of the decision-maker to move toward closure rather
than avoidance. (Chet Baker: “Look for the Silver Lining”; Bing Crosby and
the Andrews Sisters: “Accentuate the Positive”)

Negotiators and
mediators have long been aware of the impact of mood on whether a negotiation
will be successful or unsuccessful. Jennifer Lerner calls these “emotional
hangovers”—strong feelings unassociated with the negotiation itself, that can
distort a person’s judgment.[14]
This is literally like being “under the influence” and results in a distortion
of perceptions. Emotions may be “integral” (related to the negotiation
itself) or “incidental” (unrelated to the negotiation). Whether integral or
incidental, the brain is functioning in the same way, and the results will be
impacted similarly. Lerner and her colleagues describe how negotiation
participants who are angry or sad demonstrate a significantly decreased ability
to perceive their own interests or those of their counterpart; they are
flooded with emotion.

This brings to
mind the recent film, The Wedding Crashers, which casts the leading characters
as “mediators” (though they aren’t much like what we think of as mediators).
The opening scene shows the lead characters mediating a contentious divorce
dispute. The parties and their lawyers are present and completely entrenched
in a dispute over who should get the frequent flyer miles. The mediators
eventually ask seemingly unorthodox questions about how the parties met, how
they became engaged, what they ate at the wedding, what kind of music the band
played, etc. The mediators took the parties on a stroll down memory lane, and
the parties suddenly shed their extreme positions and found a mutually
agreeable solution. This was a shameless display of leveraging happy memories
to overcome impasse.

So, what can
mediators do to help parties make accurate and meaningful decisions that have
actual relevance to the content of the negotiation? If a mediator suspects
that the emotion being expressed is incidental (has no apparent relevance to
the content or participants), the mediator can attempt to normalize the emotion
by drawing out some recognition of the feelings being expressed (e.g. “Traffic
was terrible this morning, wasn’t it?”). For instance, in the opening scene of
the cult-classic film “Office Space”[15]
we see the key characters struggle through morning traffic to get to their
meaningless jobs, and the impact their commutes have on their feelings about
their work. The main character, Peter, is completely depressed about his job
until he visits a hypnotist who causes him to simply stop caring.

Mediators can
also utilize standard strategies for reducing unproductive emotion in
negotiation and boosting productive emotion—strategies like naming the emotion,
facilitating some opportunity for a party to talk about the emotion, venting,
taking breaks, choosing timing, etc. All of these strategies are aimed at
de-escalating unproductive emotion, but do little to boost productive emotion.
Again, if emotion supports all decision-making, wouldn’t I want to facilitate
tapping into productive emotion? Such strategies are often linked to the
understanding of interests, focusing on the future and what is desired, and
examining productive patterns and experiences from the past. Such past
productive patterns can often be accessed with a question like, “Tell me about
a time when communication was effective between the two of you.” (Guy Clark,
“Stuff that works”)

intelligence and intuition are clearly core competencies for mediators, but
often we work with parties whose emotional intelligence is diminished or under
developed. What can mediators do to facilitate more emotionally competent


If we help parties
change perspectives they often have different interpretations of an event.

Rather than watching
parties play out destructive exchanges of reciprocal anger (or any other
unproductive emotion), intercept the pattern and ask the parties to do
something different.

We do well to
remember that our perceptions are just our interpretations of reality. Ask
parties to take the step of identifying what their personal perceptions are and
consider alternative interpretations. Parties also benefit from jointly
identifying standards that will help them assess the trustworthiness of their

How aware do parties
seem to be of their relatedness with the other person? What kind of responses
are they eliciting from their counterpart? If their responses are
unproductive, try an intervention that will help them to focus on the kind of
relatedness they would like to have in the future and how they would behave if
that were to happen.

Ask parties to
communicate their own experience, mental state, and emotions to the other
person. Ask them to identify specific behaviors that contribute to their

Become familiar with
difficult to find or name emotions; become fluent with the spectrum of emotion
so that you can ask about a broader range of emotion that parties are
experiencing (e.g. instead of just “angry” a party might be frustrated,
annoyed, peeved, enraged, etc.).

Notice non-verbal
cues, the context, inconsistencies between words and actions; attend to facial
behavior and signals.

Attend to what topics
are being discussed when someone becomes animated. This may provide a view of
that person’s interests.

Become aware of what
our emotions are by paying attention to what your body is telling you. Where
is there tension? Pain? Ease? What is your mood? Are you finding it hard to
concentrate? To listen? How is this impacting the mediation?

Ask parties to take a
“Temperature Check.” Are emotions, 1. Out of control?, 2. Risky?, or 3.

Memory and
Patterning in Mediation

How do we learn
to like what we like? While we may not be neuroscientists or comfortable with
the jargon of music theory, anyone can tell you what music they like (although
they may not be able to explain very specifically why they like what they
like). Likewise, anyone can tell you what makes for a good negotiation, but
they may not be able to explain specifically why. Yet if we were to look at
either the music or the negotiation we would be able to identify patterns, and
those patterns would likely be consistent with the patterns of other music and
other negotiations that we also liked.

The same kind of
patterning also seems to apply to interpersonal interaction.[17]
As we repeat various patterns over and over, these patterns then become the
bases for predicting what comes next, what to do, etc. Some would call this a
“self fulfilling prophecy,” which is great if your pattern is a constructive
one….but not so great if it is destructive. My feelings about your feelings
affect the way I behave and influence what you do….etc.

the part of the brain that does patterning, is also one of the brain’s memory
centers, and is affected by emotion. That is why experiences accompanied by
intense emotion are the most memorable. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is one
extreme example of this coupling of intense emotion and memory that results in
a person responding incidentally to stimuli or patterns that cause instant
recall of a prior emotion.

The research of
John Gottman on predicting marital success or divorce also examines patterns in
how married couples communicate. Gottman and his colleagues have been able to
predict within the first five minutes of marital interaction who will divorce
and who will have a happy marriage with an alarming degree of accuracy. One
conversational pattern that they find telling is the ratio of constructive
behaviors and messages to destructive or negative behaviors or messages. The
magic ratio of success is 5/1 constructive to negative. That magic pattern
seems to create the relational foundation for feelings of relational wellbeing
and an openness to negative or corrective messages when they do occur.

Another finding
worth our noting as mediators is that the percentage of speaking time typically
correlates with interest level and also with perceptions of individual outcomes
in bargaining tasks.[18]
Percentage of talk also correlates with dominance and control over outcome, and
engagement is measured by the amount of influence that one person has over
another’s talk time. This gives new meaning to the saying that someone is
“hogging floor time.”

Recent brain
imagining studies have clearly shown the parts of the brain involved in the
processing of rewards.[19]
In a mediation (or any negotiation), patterns of competition, cooperation,
coordination and decision making impact outcomes. The rule of reciprocity
reigns. Cooperative behavior that is reciprocated leads to increased
cooperative behavior. The same applies to other behaviors such as
competition. In short, reciprocal behavior (mirroring) results in a pattern of
loss or gain of rewards—if we both cooperate, we gain rewards; if we both
compete, we are less likely to get rewards. If cooperative behaviors are not
reciprocated, it is more difficult for parties to make decisions. That is one
of the reasons why negotiators are loath to make concessions when the other
side is not reciprocating (“What are they giving? I’m giving everything!”).

Here are some
ways that mediators can attend to and use concepts related to patterning.

and the Savvy Mediator/Negotiator:

Be aware of the
situation or context and what that brings to bear upon the conflict.

Pay attention to and
manage talk time and conversational engagement.

Prime parties with a
constructive memory by asking them to recall a time when they felt successful/valued/respected
(whatever they are seeking more of). This has a powerful impact on the
negotiation, particularly if done early in the negotiation process.

Mirror the behavior
or speech pattern you want parties to do. [20]

When you see a
display of an intense emotion, inquire about what the situation was that served
as its anchor; consider the pattern that was created by that other experience
and help the party consider whether it is incidental or integral to this

Increase the ratio of
constructive to destructive messages (5/1). Mediators can do this by asking
more about what parties want than what they don’t want, what will work instead
of what won’t work, etc. (adopting an “appreciative” frame).

Spot the status
hierarchies in the conversation and think about the impact this is having on
the negotiation itself; intervene as appropriate.


One recent
summer evening the sounds of a live jazz performance entertained and instructed
participants of Pepperdine University School of Law’s Straus Institute for
Dispute Resolution summer skills conference. The musicians demonstrated the
fine art of improvisation and explored what mediators might learn from studying
improvisational techniques. Jazz is not chaos, despite what some of its detractors
might think. The standard elements of music apply: melody, rhythm, cadence,
chord structure, instrumentation, voicing, etc. Jazz, however, also values
improvisation around those structures and patterns, just as the early Baroque
musicians developed elaborate patterns of ornamentation around the melodic
line. The old is new; the new is old….again.

So, is emotion
“emotion,” and are patterns “patterns,” regardless of context? The brain seems
to function the same way when processing emotion invoked by a lovely song or a
dreadful conflict. And, we are truly creatures of habit. Perhaps as mediators
we have the privilege of introducing disputants new songs.

tunes featuring approaches to jazz improvisation:

for the melodic line, and then the myriad of approaches to ornamentation and
improvisation using a variety of instruments and voice types.

Terrence Blanchard, “A
Tale of God’s Will,” #13

Canonball Aderly,

Aretha Franklin,
“Eleanor Rigby”


Listening Key:


1.       Bach, Cantata Bvr 197:
“Gott ist unsre zuversidet”: very predictable meter, rhythm and cadence;
melodic line pleasingly predictable; very western instrumentation and voicing.

2.       Jan Garbarek:Hilliard
Ensemble, Officium: “Sanctus” w/saxaphone improvisation: begins as standard
Gregorian chant but quickly adds surprising jazz saxaphone solo; metric freedom
while establishing predictable musical phrases; note how the saxaphone
improvises around the established melodic and harmonic lines.

3.       Ry Cooder and Ali Farka
Toure’, Talking Timbuktu, “Gomni”: begins with unfamiliar melodic line and
instrumentation, but also demonstrates steady predictable rhythmic pattern,
familiar electronic guitar; non-western vocal line and call and response
pattern; steady cadence and presence of western instruments helps bridge
between African musical form and the western listener.

4.       Ry Cooder and Ali Farka
Toure’, ” Talking Timbuktu, “Sega”: although this is performed by the same
musicians as “Gommi,” think about why “Sega” sounds so much more “foreign”; while
the rhythm is steady, it’s syncopation places the emhpasis on the second beat
of the phrase which makes it sound very non-western, the instrumentation is
completely non-western, as is the melodic line that uses as 12 tone scale
rather than the “octave,” or eight tone scale that is familiar to westerners.

5.       Cesaria Evora, Café
Atlantico, “Fior Di Nha Esperanca”: the most unpredictable thing about this
Portugese ballad is that the tenor…is a woman. For listeners unfamiliar with
the many wonderful Latin female tenors, this is quite a surprise.

6.       Winton Marsalis, Linus
and Lucy, “Snoopy at Woodstock“: the opening notes tell little of what is to
come; the melodic line and harmonic structure often seem at odds with one
another; the instruments play tag with the melody line.

7.       Andy Bey, American Song,
“Midnight Sun”: the tempo begins in a somewhat predictable fashion, but this
quickly becomes challenged by the overlaid melodic line and vocals; good luck
trying to count your way through this one, although you may eventually be able
to accomplish a steady tapping (the key is subdivision).

8.       Renee Fleming and Harry
Bicket, Handel, Semele, “Oh Sleep, Why Dost Thou Leave Me?”: the melodic line
is soothing and predictable; the voice and instruments trade turns at ornamentation
around the melodic line; the languor of the melody beautifully matches the

9.       Gilbert Kalish,
Copeland, Sextet/Piano Variations ,“Allegro Vivace”: name the many ways this
piece sounds strange–intervals are not so melodic and certainly don’t seem to
follow a predictable pattern; it is often harmonically dissonant; the cadence
is not as steady as it seems and musical phrases are comprised of measures of
varied lengths; if you can hang in there long enough, you will be rewarded
with the surprise of a more melodic conclusion (and yes, you finally get the
melodic pattern).

10.    Beatles, Love, “All You
Need is Love” : now for the final surprise! Try to tap a steady rhythm on
this familiar song!



List of Works Cited


Aguilar, F. &
Galluccio, M. (2007). Introduction. In F. Aguilar & M. Galluccio
(Ed.). Cognitive, emotional, and communicative aspects in international
negotiation: Affective neuroscience contribution to the general understanding
of the negotiation process
(pp. 59-69). New York: Springer.


Blank, R.H. (2007).
Policy implications of advances in cognitive neuroscience. In F. Aguilar &
M. Galluccio (Ed.). Cognitive, emotional, and communicative aspects in
international negotiation: Affective neuroscience contribution to the general
understanding of the negotiation process
(pp. 59-69). New York: Springer.


Bogan, D. (2006,
February 17). EQ v IQ: Do lawyers and mediators need emotional intelligence?
Australian Lawyers Weekly.


Curhan, J.R. &
Pentland, A. (2007). Thin slices of negotiation: Predicting outcomes from
conversational dynamics within the first 5 minutes. Journal of Applied
92(3), 802-811.


Fisher, R., &
Shapiro, D. (2006). Beyond reason: Using emotions as you negotiate. New
York: Viking.


Franklin, J. (2008). Molecules
of the mind: The brave new science of molecular psychology.
New York:


Fromm, D. (2007,
November). Emotion in negotiation. Retrieved January 18, 2008, from
Negotiation Magazine Web site:


Gara, R. (2005, April
3). Level of trust during negotiations measured through MRI. Health News.


Gladwell, M. (2005). Blink:
The power of thinking without thinking.
Boston: Little, Brown.


Gladwell, M. (2000). The
tipping point: How little things can make a big difference.
Little, Brown.


Lerner, J. (2005,
June). Negotiating under the influence. Negotiation. 8(6), 1-3.


Levitan, D.J. (2006). This
is your brain on music.
New York: Plume.


Pinker, S. (1997). How
the mind works.
New York: W. W. Norton.


Sanfey, A.G. (2007,
October). Social decision-making: Insights from game theory and neuroscience.
Science, 318(5850), 598-602.


Thompson, W.F.,
Schellenberg, E.G., and Hussein, G. (2001). Arousal, mood, and the Mozart
effect. Psychological Science. 12(3), 248-251.


West Allen, S. &
Schwartz, J.M. (2008, January 2). Neuroscience and conflict resolution. Retrieved
January 18, 2008, from Brains On Purpose Negotiation Web site:




End Notes

[1] Many thanks to Luis Miguel Diaz, Presidente, Centro
Interdisciplinario para el Manejo de Conflictos AC for his editorial

[2] Scene where monster is
uncontrollable but calms to the sound of Frau Blucher’s violin; Scene #16,
01:01:31 – 01:04:15.

[3] Scene #2, 00:14:05 – 00:16:14 and Scene #10, 00:51:19 – 00:55:18

[4] List the songs that remind you
of your teenage years. This should be a very simple task. What people,
events, and places do these songs bring to mind for you?

[5] (Levitin, p. 109)

[6] p. 109

[7] p. 104

[8]“….we perceive them as real, but
they are just an illusion.” (Levitin, p. 106 )

[9] “Neurological research has
highlighted the fact that the region of the human brain primarily responsible
for rational judgment and decision making cannot function properly without
input from regions responsible for emotions.” (Aguilar & Galluccio, pp.

[10] Levitan, p. 5

[11] “A negotiation is certainly
about issues, but it is also about feelings and personal relationships. Trust,
credibility, positive emotions, or alternatively, anger, hostility, and
distrust are intrinsically linked to the negotiation process.” (Aguilar &
Galluccio, p. 46).

[12] “Accordingly, it is easily
understandable that decisions taken in this context might be based on wrong
perceptions, negative emotions, and on a consequential emotional misattunement
with the counterpart that provokes a chain reaction of failed verbal and
nonverbal communication, coupled with behaviors able to drive the negotiation
toward a serious impasse or troubled patch when instead a good result could
have possibly ensued.” (Aguilar & Galluccio, p. 43)

[13] (Aguilar & Galluccio, p. 60)

[14] (Lerner, p. 1)

[15] Scene #1, 00:00:45 – 00:01:57 and 00:03:24 – 00:05:10; Scene #8,
00:20:52 – 00:23:31

[16] Sample Emotional Intelligence
Exercise: 1. Generate as many words as possible to describe primary
emotions: sadness, anger, fear, enjoyment, love, surprise, disgust, shame.
2. Identify +/- valence for each emotion. 3. Create a + list and – list.
4. Then group the various emotions in each list into a group of “HOT” emotions
and a list of “COOL” emotions (e.g. rage and fury are HOT; annoyance and
irritation are COOL). 5. Role play a negotiation where one party has few
words to describe emotions and the other has a rich assortment of words to
describe emotion. 6. Assess and debrief. (Fromm, p. 3 -5)

[17]“The human being during his
development builds up interpersonal schemata on the basis of repeated
interactions” which then influence our desires, expectations, and behavior….For
example, one actor at the negotiation table anticipates others will not take
into proper consideration his concerns and hence will not respect him. A
dysfunctional cognitive-interpersonal cycle has been automatically started
giving negative feelings to the actor who thus behaves in a tenacious dependent
fashion that ultimately alienates people and confirms his expectations.”
(Aguilar & Galluccio, pp. 55 – 56)

[18] (Curhan and Pentland, p. 803).

[19] “Several neuroimaging studies
have demonstrated that the striatum tracks a social partner’s decision to
reciprocate or not reciprocate cooperation….Reciprocated cooperation with
another human leads to increased activation in the striatum as compared
with…unreciprocated cooperation [which] shows a decrease in activation.”
(Sanfey, p. 4)

[20] When waitresses mimicked the
speech of customers the received higher tips. An individual’s frequency of
mirroring in the first five minutes will positively correlate with individual
outcomes (Curhan and Pentland, p. 804)


Merri L. Hanson

Merri L. Hanson is the Director of Peninsula Mediation & ADR in Williamsburg and Hampton Virginia. Peninsula Mediation & ADR provides a comprehensive range of mediation services for family, workplace, EEO, ADA, business, and commercial disputes. Under Merri’s direction, Peninsula Mediation & ADR manages ADR contracts and service delivery throughout… MORE >

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