The influence of disputant affect state on perceptions of mediator alignment
Nease, AnJanette Agnew
O'Connor, Kathleen M.
Master of Arts
Previous research on mediation has not examined the influence that disputant affect state may have on perceptions of mediators and proposals for resolving the conflict. This influence may be particularly important in situations where a mediator has similar interests, or is aligned, with one particular disputing party. The present study attempted to examine how affect states influence the evaluations of mediators with unfavorable and favorable alignment. Hypotheses were that, compared to neutrals, negative and positive affect states would lead to increased reliance on heuristics such as mediator alignment for determining perceptions of the mediation situation. One hundred twenty-one participants wrote essays designed to induce angry, neutral, or happy affect states, and then participated in a mediation task. Results indicated no support for the hypotheses. The lack of results may be attributed to insensitivity of the affect and alignment manipulations. Implications for future research are discussed.
Social psychology; Industrial psychology