WSBA Alternative Dispute Resolution

Promoting Informed Use and Best Practices for ADR in Washington

Nina Meierding: The Psychological Bias Against Creativity

May 4-5, 2012
19th Annual Northwest Dispute Resolution Conference

Session Series 1 - Plenary
Friday, May 4, 2012 1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.

1.1 The Psychological Bias Against Creativity: Understanding Fear of Change, Status Quo Preference and High Uncertainty Avoidance

Nina Meierding, Negotiation and Mediation Training Services, Bainbridge Island, WA

Why do people espouse creativity but often reject creative ideas? Our plenary presentation will examine these phenomena from three different angles. We will explore how a person’s fear of risk, failure and social rejection can create tensions that may overpower the urge to try something new and different. We will look at status quo bias; why what people are used to is more comfortable than “thinking out of the box.” We will also discuss how the cultural concept of high uncertainty avoidance is very different than situational distrust and how both these factors can inhibit creativity. Join us as we learn how our understanding of the above concepts enhances our abilities as lawyers and mediators to work more productively and effectively with our clients in both negotiations and mediations.

Nina has assisted in the resolution of thousands of disputes. She has conducted training throughout the world: Canada, Sweden, Ireland, England, Scotland, the Netherlands, and India. She has consulted and trained many groups - including court systems, corporations, medical agencies, governmental agencies, small and large business entities, and individuals in the areas of conflict resolution, cross cultural issues, management skills, and negotiation skills.

Nina is a former civil attorney and has been a full time mediator, trainer, and professor for over twenty-seven years. She had mediated over 4,000 cases and trained thousands of individuals nationally and internationally in conflict resolution skills, and culture and gender issues. She is the former president of the Academy of Family Mediators, and served on the board of directors of the Association of Conflict Resolution and many other organizations. She is a mediation consultant for Wisconsin’s Special Education Mediation System.

Nina is an Adjunct Professor at Pepperdine University School of Law in Malibu, California (courses in Negotiation, Domestic Relations Dispute Resolution, Advanced Mediation, and Cross Cultural Issues in Dispute Resolution), in both Southern Methodist University's Dispute Resolution program in Dallas, Texas (courses in Gender and Culture, Mediation, Advanced Negotiation, Advanced Family Mediation, Divorce Mediation) as well as SMU's Counseling program (Counseling Diverse Communities), and at Lipscomb University in Nashville, Tennesee (Cross Cultural Issues in Dispute Resolution). She has been a guest instructor at many other universities and law schools. Nina has also been an instructor at the National Judicial College in Reno, Nevada and the California Judicial College, and has been a plenary speaker and presented workshops at judicial and state bar conferences.

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