The New York Times had an article last year by Virginia Hughes entitled “Want to Change Minds? Consider Talking it Out.” You can read the article at https://www.nytimes.com/2022/09/16/science/group-consensus-persuasion-brain-alignment.html?smid=url-share. Ms. Hughes discusses a study done by Dr. Beau Sievers of Dartmouth College to improve the understanding of how exactly a group of people achieves a consensus and how each person;s brain changes after such discussion
The article went on to say:
“The experiment also underscored a dynamic familiar to anyone who has been steamrollered in a work meeting: An individual’s behavior can drastically influence a group decision. Some of the volunteers tried to persuade their group mates of a cinematic interpretation with bluster, by barking orders and talking over their peers. But others — particularly those who were central players in the students’ real-life social networks — acted as mediators, reading the room and trying to find common ground.
The groups with blowhards were less neurally aligned than were those with mediators, the study found. Perhaps more surprising, the mediators drove consensus not by pushing their own interpretations, but by encouraging others to take the stage and then adjusting their own beliefs — and brain patterns — to match the group.
Being willing to change your own mind, then, seems key to getting everyone on the same page.”
We don’t have a larger group and don’t use brain scanners but as mediators we do try to find common ground and encourage couples to be willing to change their mind. We certainly have couples “talk it out.” Perhaps this is one of many reasons why mediation works.
Learn more about mediation athttps://www.center-divorce-mediation.com CDM (401) 1/23/23