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Attribution Theory and Mediation

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Then the perceiver has to decide whether the effects were intended by the actor. ... decision, the perceiver makes the attribution of the disposition to the actor. ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Attribution Theory and Mediation


1
Attribution Theory and Mediation
  • By Irene Pergamo

2
  • Our behavior centers on the perceived causes of
    behavior by ordinary people in everyday life. It
    explains the process by which you come to
    understand your own behavior and that of others.

3
  • In order to attribute dispositions to an actor,
    first the actors actions and the effects (or
    consequences) of these actions are observed by
    the perceiver. Then the perceiver has to decide
    whether the effects were intended by the actor.
    On the basis of this decision, the perceiver
    makes the attribution of the disposition to the
    actor.

4
  • Internal attributions occur when a persons
    behavior is attributed to internal
    characteristics (personality or beliefs).
  • External attributions occur when behavior is
    attributed to something outside of a persons
    control (e.g., traffic or environmental issues).
  • People tend to attribute other peoples behavior
    to internal characteristics, and their own
    behavior to external characteristics (Fundamental
    Attribution Error)

5
  • Mediators can use these factors to
  • predict the communication strategies each party
    will use in the mediation process.
  • This will ultimately allow the mediator to select
    the right techniques to shift attributions,
    thereby shifting each partys communication
    strategies, and thereby shifting the outcome.

6
  • unlike the justice system, the mediation process
    is not intended to find fault, assign blame, or
    punish anyone.
  • Mediators can take the philosophy of restorative
    justice and use the motivations behind
    attribution theory as a tool to reverse
    preconceived notions individuals have assigned to
    others and self.

7
  • Attribution theory suggests that mediation needs
    always to take account of the relationship
    between the people.
  • Mediators can use reframing to put a positive
    spin on a negative situation.

8
  • Reframing is used to clarify and uncover the
    essence of the meaning, needs, interests, or
    concerns from an unproductive framing and present
    it in a new way so that it can be more easily
    addressed and handled by the parties.

9
  • There is research evidence that parties are often
    willing and able to hear and accept statements
    worded by the mediator when they are not able to
    hear or accept ad identical statement from
    another disputant.

10
  • Its the mediators goal to de-escalate the
    emotional dynamic behind the conflict in order to
    encourage abstract thinking in general, and
    encourage a shift from negative attributions to a
    new framework that allows each party to better
    view and understand each others perspectives.

11
  • Attributional retraining is the process by which
    a person is led to reflect on his/her own
    attributes for a situation, and consider
    alternative explanations.
  • This skill can be used to make positions into
    interests.
  • Attributional retraining can help mediators to
    skillfully shake a partys certainty in his/her
    assumptions, and thereby change the context of
    the blame game.

12
  • Emotional Reframing is described as reframing the
    partys concerns and feelings with the same
    emotional intensity that he/she is experiencing.
  • Can de-escalate the conflict by lessening the
    energy surrounding the conflict.

13
  • Role Reversal is where each party speaks from the
    perspective of the other.
  • Take responsibility of their own actions. This
    may enable disputants to believe that the
    situation is to blame.
  • Video tape each party so they see them selves
    through the eyes of the casual observer or
    another party.
  • Do want/dont want. This exercise requires
    active listening and restating each others
    wishes.
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