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Emotional Intelligence and Dispute Mediation in Escalating and De-Escalating Situations

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A scenario-based laboratory experiment investigated how emotional intelligence (EI) influences informal mediation. A 2 × 2 factorial design varied subjects' EI level (high vs. low) and whether disputant hostility was escalating or de-escalating. Dependent variables included mediation goals and tactics. Results indicated that high EI mediators were more likely than low EI mediators to pursue the goal of achieving an overall mutually satisfactory agreement. High EI mediators were more likely than low EI mediators to report a willingness to use a larger number of mediation tactics to promote a compromise. By contrast, low EI mediators were more likely to endorse using pressing, compensating, and inaction techniques. Results suggest that individual differences in EI should be considered in future mediation research.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2010-12-01

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