Go to main content


The Harvard Principles applied to journalism: From conflicting positions to constructive dialogues

How journalists can get inspiration from mediation principles to develop and use constructive practices for dialogue when moderating discussions and reporting on divisive issues. Part 11 of the series “Psychology for Journalists”.

By Margarida Alpuim and Katja Ehrenberg

Abstrakte Darstellung von Kommunikationselementen mit einem lachenden Charakter, einem Mikrofon und stilisierten Mediengeräten, um die Dynamik der Medienpsychologie zu veranschaulichen.


In 1979, a new program that would deeply influence the field of mediation and negotiation was created at Harvard University’s School of Law: the Harvard Negotiation Project. The project was founded by Roger Fisher, an internationally distinguished mediator and negotiator, and two of his students at the time, William Ury and Bruce Patton (his future co-authors). Because Fisher had fought in World War II and was deeply affected by the negative consequences of the conflict, including losing his friends, he was passionately committed to developing mediation methods. The Harvard Negotiation Project was dedicated to research and training on nonviolent forms of conflict resolution — including high-level disputes with governments and corporations.

From this project emerged the Harvard Principles of Negotiation, a kind of guide for reaching agreements that are accepted by and comfortable for all stakeholders. These principles were consolidated in the book Getting to Yes: Negotiating an agreement without giving in, first published in 1981 (1). More than 40 years later, the Harvard model has become a standard reference in the overall field.

Even though journalists are neither judges nor mediators, their job often includes facilitating conversations in which different stakeholders (ideally) are able to express their perspectives in an understandable way. Such an attitude, as well as “authentic interest in our interview partners”, can lead journalists to “completely different positions than expected — and new insights that lead to better stories”, as Ellen Heinrichs, founder and director of the Bonn Institute, emphasises in her article (in German) “What journalism can learn from mediation” (2).  In constructive journalism, the goal is precisely to try to ensure that diverse and nuanced viewpoints can be expressed (not only two sides or “yes or no” answers); find common ground when stakeholders seem to “speak different languages” yet might have more shared interests than is obvious at first glance; and reach some sort of political or social roadmaps, with a vision of a better future. 

Journalists can benefit from using Fisher and colleagues’ Harvard negotiation principles (1) as a source of inspiration to develop interviewing and reporting practices that avoid feeding polarisation, and lead to more constructive dialogues.

In this article, we will…

  • present the Harvard Principles of Negotiation;
  • give examples of how these principles can be transformed into constructive journalistic practices, particularly for interviews, debates, and panel discussions;
  • explain how scientific research from psychology can deepen our understanding of conflicts and polarisation;
  • suggest tools and tips based on the Harvard principles that apply to all stages of reporting: preparing and researching, interviewing, storytelling, and editing.

What are the Harvard Principles of Negotiation?

An open mind is not an empty one.

Fisher, Ury & Patton, 1991

There are many approaches to mediating conflicting processes. Still, some features are common to all of them: clashing ideas are presented; participants are willing to communicate with one another despite the disagreement; and different solutions are possible; among others (3). 

The Harvard Principles of Negotiation or Principled Negotiation (1) is essentially a method of negotiation designed to fairly resolve conflicts by:

  • meeting the interests of all parties as much and as evenly as possible (win-win approach);
  • finding sustainable solutions given the high levels of acceptance of the outcomes;
  • preserving — or at least not (further) damaging — the relationship between the parties.

The Harvard approach is different from so-called “positional negotiation”, where people frequently assume a strong position and stick to it, fighting against each other, with at least one of the parties leaving the process feeling a loser. In these cases, there is often anger and resentment, as well as the natural reaction of not wanting to negotiate with that counterpart again (1).

In a principled negotiation, on the other hand, instead of accentuating their positions, people focus on the interests behind those positions. But what exactly does that mean?

Consider this textbook example: Two sisters are fighting over an orange. They decide that it seems fair to divide the orange in half. It is only when they see what the other does with her part of the orange that they realise they could have reached an agreement that was better for both: One of them ate the fruit, and threw away the peel, and the other one threw away the fruit and used the peel to bake a cake. “Too many negotiations end up with half an orange for each side [positional negotiation] instead of the whole fruit for one and the whole peel for the other [principled negotiation]” (1). In a principled negotiation, understanding people’s underlying needs, concerns, and desires is what matters.

This method can be applied on all decision-making levels — from the negotiation of high stakes political conflicts like that between Israel and Egypt in 1978 (we will talk about it more in depth) to the everyday lives of parents and children, couples, coworkers, landlords and tenants, etc. (1).

In journalism, we sometimes focus too much on positions, and forget to explore the deeper needs, concerns, desires behind them. We listen to the supposedly two different sides of a story and then communicate the conflicting opinions to the audience. Naturally, a polarising narrative emerges — it’s one side against the other. The same happens in debates or panel discussions: participants frequently engage in “positional” disputes, each one defending their own fixed ideas from start to end, without truly listening to their counterpart. Journalists can play a role in fostering more empathetic conversations.

The Harvard Principles of Negotiation can be seen as a starting point to expand on how journalists can facilitate such dialogues when they are either reporting on conflicts or moderating debates or panel discussions.

Four inspiring principles for journalists

1. Separate the people from the problem

This is one of those maxims that is easier said than done. In this case, separating the people from the problem doesn’t mean to put emotions aside to try to have a rational discussion only on the merits of the issue. The Harvard model acknowledges that negotiations happen between people, not machines, so relationships and emotions cannot be switched off. It also embraces emotions and includes recommendations for how to deal with them during the process (1).

Specifically, this first principle asserts that it is essential not to ignore the emotional side of the interaction (as opposed to formal content discussion) and, if necessary, to reserve some space for emotional expression. “Freed from the burden of unexpressed emotions, people will become more likely to work on the problem” (1). When someone feels that real attention is given to them and their concerns, they will listen more and engage in a deeper, more cooperative, and meaningful dialogue (4). Journalists can foster such an environment by practising and incentivising active listening. In the tools and tips section, we suggest a couple of techniques to accomplish this goal. You can also check BBC’s project Deep Listening, especially designed within the journalism context to help people discuss difficult topics. (See box for particular insights about emotions in conflicts, especially the transformative potential of hope.).

Besides allowing for emotional expression, separating the people from the problem in a negotiation is also about targeting the ideas rather than the person. The Harvard model uses the expression: “Be soft on the people, hard on the problem” (1). That is to say, no matter how far apart people are in terms of their positions, it is important that they still show respect and treat the other person with dignity, even as they focus on tackling the issues assertively.

Even if different in nature and aim, applying this principle to negotiation is similar to the foundational “externalising technique” in narrative therapy — an approach developed in the 1980s that helps individuals deconstruct and rewrite their life stories in a more valuable light (7). This technique is well illustrated by the famous idea: The person is not the problem, the problem is the problem (e.g. 8) and, in short, it means that problems are viewed as external aspects of an individual, rather than part of their intrinsic features (8) — the problem is addressed without questioning the person’s own personality.

Emotions in conflicts: The special case of hope

In an article about emotions in conflicts and post-conflict reconciliation, Halperin and Schwartz highlight the connection between emotions, cognitive processes and political positions and actions (5).

Hatred, the authors say, is “associated with high levels of de-legitimization and dehumanisation of the hated out-group” (5). The outgroup (the one we don’t belong to) is viewed as a “permanent evil”, and, in terms of emotions, hatred is “the ultimate barrier” to conflict resolution and peace (5).

On the other hand, hope is a more auspicious emotion, as it is associated with the belief that “a better future is possible”. According to the authors, several studies have shown that hope facilitates “goal-setting, planning, use of imagery, creativity, cognitive flexibility, mental exploration of novel situations, and even risk taking” (5). In another article (6), hope seems to be reinforced as very relevant within the context of conflict resolution, given its potential to transform attitudes in a positive direction. 

So, whenever it makes sense in a story about a conflict, journalists might want to consider including stories of hope, because, as a “forward thinking emotion”, it “allows individuals and groups to see beyond barriers” (5). 

2. Focus on interests, not positions

When meeting to solve a conflict, people usually start by expressing their position regarding the problem, i.e. as the only possible solution they are considering. In a principled negotiation, as we’ve already mentioned, we try to identify the interests behind people’s positions. According to the Harvard model, negotiating while keeping the underlying interests in mind is wiser and more efficient for several reasons:

  • People tend to feel less tense, more flexible and more creative when the conversation is about (understandable, legitimate) interests, rather than a firm position (1).
  • Negotiation results tend to be better for all parties when people have higher levels of understanding, and, consequently, care more about the other person’s interests, research suggests (9) — as opposed to when people stick to one single solution, ending up to become more concerned about “saving face” than to reach an agreement (1). Positive emotions seem to facilitate conflict resolution and creative problem-solving skills, as well as discourage disruptive strategies (3).
  • The final agreement aims at meeting the actual needs of all sides (1). This is, to some extent, equivalent to what we, in constructive journalism, call “finding common ground”. Not in the sense that interests or opinions have to be the same, but in the sense of searching for a solution that addresses all (or many) concerns. In the search for common ground, journalists can try to expand their questions from opinions or positions to interest, for example by using open-ended questions such as “What concerns of yours do you want to see addressed in a potential solution?”. In the tools and tips section, we provide some more examples. Journalists can keep this principle in mind not only when they are moderating debates or panel discussions, but also when they are making sense of the story for publication — by focusing on the concerns and aspirations of the individuals, instead of on closed stances.

Relationships tend to be preserved in interests-centred conversations, since (hopefully) no one leaves the discussion feeling like a loser, and character attacks are prevented. One of the strategies proposed in the Harvard model that contributes to this goal is a nonconventional way to have people sit in  the room: instead of facing each other on opposite sides of the table, the negotiator can invite the participants to sit side by side, facing the problem (for instance, a representation on a sheet of paper). “Physically sitting side by side can reinforce the mental attitude of tackling a common problem together” (1). In 2021, a Danish TV show, Solved or Squeezed, tried an experiment that, to some extent, had a similar approach: politicians running for local elections were invited to stand in a room facing a board on the wall and they had to come up with solutions for a real-life problem facing their communities. They only had 20 minutes to reach an agreement, and as they did, the walls started closing in on them — literally (10). Images of the show illustrate how participants did not confront one another, but instead adopted a collaborative kind of position.

Principle in action: Mediating a complex international conflict

Focusing on interests, not positions, was key for the peace talks between Israel and Egypt in 1978 (1). The two countries had been in conflict since 1948 and, after the Six Day War in 1967, Israel had occupied the Sinai Peninsula. During the peace negotiations in 1978, both countries had very fixed positions: Israel wanted to keep part of the Sinai, and Egypt was claiming that the whole territory should be returned to them. The impasse was finally resolved when they looked at their interests instead of their positions: Israel’s interest in securing the territory had to do with not wanting the Egyptian military at their border; and Egypt was interested in maintaining the Sinai Peninsula because the territory had been theirs historically (11). Based on those interests, they agreed that Egypt would regain the territory, but the country would have to keep part of the area demilitarised to ensure Israel’s security (1).

Note: We use this case as a real-life famous example of how focusing on interests (rather than positions) can be important even in high-level talks between countries. With this example, we are not suggesting that the broader conflict in the region was solved in 1978, nor are we advocating that there are simple recipes to solve deeply complex diplomatic/human conflicts.

3. Brainstorming solutions

After focusing on the issue at stake and understanding the interests behind the initial positions, people are invited to come up with multiple solutions. The original name of the principle, as applied to negotiations, is “Invent options for mutual gain” (1). The Harvard model suggests that all sides think about and prepare a list of potential solutions in advance that would fulfil their needs and allow them to get to a “yes” in the negotiation.

In line with this principle, journalistic contexts can create space for debate in which participants are invited to brainstorm ideas that go beyond the positions that are initially presented and that address the issue from new entry points. Such a debate culture can be fostered by introducing collective-oriented solution-focused questions — for instance: “In an ideal world, with no financial or time constraints, what would you propose that is likely to satisfy all parties involved?”

4. Finding fair criteria

Finally, the Harvard model suggests that all sides agree on using objective criteria to assess potential solutions (“Insist on using objective criteria”, in the original). The idea is to reach a solution based on criteria comfortable for all parts, rather than on pressure or power (1).

As a journalist, you can, for example, incorporate this principle in your questions: for instance, when developing a cycle network in a city, the mayor might have route plans that other stakeholders — such as citizens, business owners, etc. — don’t agree with, and they might have suggestions for other routes. You can ask each stakeholder which criteria they believe could be fair to use as a standard when assessing the validity of the proposals. Because such questions are future-oriented and focused on what might work, they contribute to setting the tone for a more appreciative approach, helping to disentangle the situation, and reach an agreement everyone feels satisfied with.

Negotiation Jiu-jitsu

While you were reading the description of the four principles, you might have thought of experiences  you’ve had in which this model might have failed or not been enough to overcome the divides. Sometimes one or more interlocutors don’t want to align with a constructive approach to the discussion, and attack other people or their proposals. When this happens: “Do not push back” (as the authors of the Harvard Principles suggest; 1). They say to “break the vicious cycle by refusing to react” and use the attackers’ strength to the common benefit by redirecting their energy, just like in martial arts. They call it “Negotiation Jiu-jitsu”:

  • Don’t accept or reject their position; again, try to understand the interests behind it. You can do so by asking: “What needs and concerns will this proposal meet?” (e.g. “What concerns and needs will allocating X euros of the city’s budget to this initiative meet?”), and, subsequently: “What other options are there that could lead to achieving these goals?” Such questions are more likely to elicit answers that allow you to open up the conversation to other, less divisive, options.
  • If they attack other people’s proposals, try to understand the concerns. You can ask: “If you could add a paragraph or two to this proposal in order to also address your concerns, what would you include?”, “Which option do you think could address your concerns without neglecting the others’?”. By using such an approach, not only will you be moving the conversation to a more constructive ground, but you will also be showing empathy.

Insights from psychology: agreement paradox and “false” polarisation

Research in psychology can help journalists understand where polarisation comes from and why embracing more constructive approaches in conflict management and resolution is beneficial for everyone involved — journalists, those they talk with, and the audience.

In other articles of this series, we addressed some essential psychological concepts that contribute to this discussion, including cognitive biases and mental traps that distort our interpretation of events and lead to simplistic explanations of events and behaviours; sense of community and its focus on what connects people; order effects in processing information that shape how both reporters and the audience think about the world; and how stereotypes emerge and persist (and how to counter them).

Here we want to add two further layers to “complicate” the conversation about conflict formation and polarisation: how pressure for agreement might produce disagreement (and what we can do about it), and why a false sense of polarisation might exist.

The agreement paradox

The authors of a recent book chapter about “how pressures to agree with others ultimately cause more societal division” (12) suggest that putting too much pressure on reaching an agreement can be counterproductive. They call it “the agreement paradox”. Pressure creates the possibility of a “short-term superficial agreement”, but it undermines a sustainable agreement in the long-term (12). “It is like constructing a building with cracks in the foundation — sooner or later it is destined to collapse” (12). These authors hypothesise that there are two “cracks” in the foundation of pressured agreement: psychological reactance and information contamination.

Psychological reactance is about people resisting the social influence of others when they feel that the pressure to comply is taking away their freedom of choice (13). The classic example is when children do the opposite of what their parents tell them (13); another illustrative case, which still needs further investigation, is the reactance behaviours from citizens to the restrictions imposed during the COVID-19 pandemic (e.g. resisting to mask mandates; 14). 

Informational contamination refers to a situation “a communicator is viewed as more manipulative and less sincere when they express opinions consistent with perceived external pressure” (13), leading people to not want to adhere to their arguments.

These findings are a good argument in favour of journalists trying to promote conversations in which:

  • we get to know the genuine needs and views of those involved;
  • participants feel respected and free from pressure to comply with certain opinions;
  • there is room for an empathetic dialogue, which might facilitate reaching common ground.

Hopefully, such dialogues lead to solutions that might be more sustainable in the long term and result in greater quality, potentially more sustainable relationships. 

False polarisation?

The term “false polarisation” is misleading — because polarisation does exist. This phenomenon refers to the observation that people’s beliefs about polarisation are inaccurate, “substantially more extreme”, than the actual (opinion) gap between their groups, which in turn reinforces actual polarisation and intergroup conflict (15). In one study, individuals who were on opposite sides of the abortion rights issue were presented with different abortion scenarios. When participants were required to guess how individuals from the opposing side would evaluate those scenarios, they “substantially over-estimated the extremity of the other side’s views” (16).

In previous articles we have discussed some of the cognitive processes underlying this accentuation effect, for example, when we analysed the process of categorisation (“the process by which objects, events, people, or experiences are grouped into classes” based on shared characteristics and differences between classes being exaggerated, 17; see article 9 about stereotypes). Categorisation exacerbates polarisation because it amplifies the differences between members of different categories, for instance, supporters of political parties, and largely ignores the manifold individual differences within a category; in particular, members of outgroups are seen as “all alike” (outgroup homogeneity effect; 18). 

“Intractable conflicts can arise when policy disputes become oversimplified and lose nuance” (15), as in the case of a process called “moralisation”, when someone’s preferences (e.g. to smoke or not to smoke) are framed as values with strong moral implications (19). Through moralisation, people transform otherwise complex analyses into “moralized disputes” that cultivate “binary, black-and-white thinking” (15).

However, journalists can play an active role in counteracting these processes. One way is to provide people with multilayered, nuanced pieces of information: in a study, people who were given a text with more complex approaches to traditionally divisive issues (e.g. abortion, euthanasia) engaged in more tractable conversations with people with opposing views (20). Another option might be to provide time and a safe space for people to read and/or listen to in-depth pieces of factual information, and to share their own viewpoints and doubts. A successful example of these type of events is the America in One Room project — social gatherings in which hundreds of voters from around the country are brought together to deliberate about certain policy proposals, using a methodology that has shown to promote “large, depolarizing changes in their policy attitudes and large decreases in affective polarization” (21; more in this New York Times’ article, “These 526 Voters Represent All of America. And They Spent a Weekend Together”). Check the tools and tips section below for more ideas.

Tools and tips

Preparing and researching

  • When preparing for an interview or debate, learn about the interests, background, culture of those you will be talking with. Try to understand what they value the most, what their needs are, what they are concerned about.
  • When you’re covering a more sensitive topic, consider spending some time with people in their own (social) context before the interview.
  • Think in advance about how your background and social groups might affect your interpretation of the positions and interests of those you report about. Do you feel closer to any group you will be covering? Ask colleagues or other people to help you see potential blind spots. Diversity in the newsroom can be a great asset to more mindful reporting.
  • Be prepared to deal with your own emotions. Learn to recognise your emotional state (1): Are you feeling nervous? Are you relaxed? Angry? Fearful? Where do those feelings come from? How do you want to feel during the moderation of the debate (for instance), and why? What can you do beforehand to prepare yourself for that? What can throw you off balance during the debate, and what can you do to regain your balance? (inspired by 22).

Interviewing/Panel discussions

  • Focus on the needs, interests, concerns behind people’s positions. Ask (open) questions, such as:“What do you expect to achieve with this proposal?”, “What could be included in the proposal to make you feel your concerns are being considered?” (1).
  • Dig for gold. Even though you might be averse to a guest’s or interviewee’s position, try to see them in a different light in order to maintain authentic respect and appreciation during the conversation: Ask yourself if there is an “honourable motive” or human need that you can value behind the aspect you find annoying or even revolting. Try to think of words that the person themselves (or their partner, family or friends) might use to describe whatever you find disturbing. This kind of reframing can help you to stay “soft on the person” even if you find it challenging to do so.
  • Focus on common ground. Try to address questions that reveal what is important for all participants: “What aspects of what has been said resonate with your own concerns/needs?”, “If you had to make a general statement you all agree with, which aspects would it include?”. You can also identify one or two aspects that seem to be shared by everyone. 
  • Remember to stimulate a solutions-oriented conversation: “Which interests/needs/concerns do you share with other people?”; “What opportunities would be unleashed if you agreed on a proposal that is beneficial for both?”.
  • Have in mind that usually the most meaningful interests for some people are basic human needs — security, freedom, control over one's life, recognition, economic well-being and stability, bonding, a sense of belonging (1).
  • Practice and incentivise active listening both during interviews and when moderating panel discussions. Some of the key behaviours of active listening are: focusing on the person talking (without getting distracted with other people, cellphone, notes, etc.); avoiding interruptions; showing genuine empathy for what the other person is feeling/sharing, not that you agree or disagree; paraphrasing (e.g. “This is what I understood from what you said: […]. Did I get it correctly?”); and asking follow-up questions (“While I was listening to you, I got the impression that the part about […] seems to be particularly important to you. Can you expand more on that?”). 


  • Remember to include in the story shared interests and common ground you’ve identified during the interviews.
  • When appropriate, consider including stories and/or accounts of hope within the situation you’re reporting about. Remember that hope contributes to opening up people’s minds to new possibilities and can (positively) change the attitude towards a conflict (8).
  • Pay close attention to the language you use. Make sure your words reflect an approach centred on people’s interests, needs and concerns — avoid emphasising closed/narrow positions. Also think about how your values and experiences might affect the language you use to describe the ideas of those you are reporting about — labels; verbs; order of words/sentences; etc. (See more about the power of language in article 2 of this series, as well as article 7 on order effects and article 9 on categorisation and stereotyping.)
  • At the end, go through your story and ask yourself: “Does my story contribute to humanising everyone involved?”

Out of the box formats

  • For more innovative panel discussions or debates, explore different formats — such as the example of allowing people to stand/sit on the same side, both looking at a representation of the issue at hand. Participants will be incentivised to focus on the issue, not on each other.
  • Create original spaces of conversation for your audience. Get inspired by projects such journalist Bastian Berbner’s worldwide search for people who had overcome hatred and become friends (the project culminated in a bookIn Search of Common Ground: Inspiring True Stories of Overcoming Hate in a Divided World), or the America in One Room events mentioned above.

About the authors

Margarida Alpuim is a Portuguese psychologist and journalist. She completed her master's in Community Psychology at the University of Miami, where she focused on issues of collective well-being. As a journalist, Margarida wants to explore more constructive ways to tell stories that consider both the audience and media professionals. Margarida currently works from Lisbon on innovative projects that unite psychology and journalism.

Katja Ehrenberg holds a PhD in psychology and is professor at Fresenius University of Applied Sciences in Cologne. For almost 25 years, she has conducted research, taught and published on topics of social, communication, organisational and health psychology. As a freelance systemic consultant, she advises teams and individuals and enjoys applying social science findings to the various challenges of everyday human (work)life.


  1. Fisher, R., Ury, W., & Patton, B. (1991). Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement without Giving In (2nd ed.). London: Random House Business Books.
  2. Heinrichs, E. (2023, September 10). Was Journalismus von der Mediation lernen kann [What journalism can learn from mediation]. Journalist. https://www.journalist.de/startseite/detail/article/was-journalismus-von-der-mediation-lernen-kann 
  3. Prassa, K., & Stalikas, A. (2020). Towards a Better Understanding of Negotiation: Basic Principles, Historical Perspective and the Role of Emotions. Psychology, 11, 105-136. https://doi.org/10.4236/psych.2020.111008 
  4. Weger, H., Castle Bell, G., Minei, E.M., & Robinson, M.C. (2014). The Relative Effectiveness of Active Listening in Initial Interactions. International Journal of Listening, 28, 13 - 31.
  5. Halperin, E., & Schwartz, D. (2010). Emotions in conflict resolution and post-conflict reconciliation. Les Cahiers Internationaux de Psychologie Sociale, 87, 423-442. https://doi.org/10.3917/cips.087.0423
  6. Cohen-Chen, S., Van Kleef, G. A., Crisp, R. J., & Halperin, E. (2019). Dealing in hope: Does observing hope expressions increase conciliatory attitudes in intergroup conflict? Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 83, 102-111.
  7. American Psychological Association. (n.d.). Narrative therapy. In APA dictionary of psychology. Retrieved December 18, 2023, from https://dictionary.apa.org/narrative-therapy.
  8. White, M. (2007). Maps of narrative practice. New York: W. W. Norton & Co.
  9. van Kleef, G. A., & Côté, S. (2018). Emotional dynamics in conflict and negotiation: Individual, dyadic, and group processes. Annual Review of Organizational Psychology and Organizational Behavior, 5, 437-464. https://doi.org/10.1146/annurev-orgpsych-032117-104714
  10. Førli, A. K., MacAskill, E., Lindner, P., Kohyama, K., Nikolajeva, N., & Lund, K. (2022). Listen Louder: How journalists can counter polarization. Aarhus, Denmark: Constructive Institute. https://constructiveinstitute.org/app/uploads/2022/06/5333873-Fonden-Constructive-Foundation-bog.pdf
  11. The Editors of Encyclopædia Britannica (2023, December 17, last update). Sinai Peninsula. Britannica. https://www.britannica.com/place/Sinai-Peninsula 
  12. Conway, L. G., Houck, S. C., Chan L., Repke, M. A., & McFarland, J. D. (2021). The agreement paradox: How pressures to agree with others ultimately cause more societal division. In J.-W. van Prooijen (Ed), The Psychology of Political Polarization (1st ed.). Routledge. https://doi.org/10.4324/9781003042433
  13. Miron, A.M., & Brehm, J.W. (2006). Reactance Theory - 40 Years Later. Zeitschrift für Sozialpsychologie, 37, 9-18.
  14. Rains, S. A., Colombo, P. M., Quick, B. L., & Kriss, L. A. (2022). State mask mandates and psychological reactance theory: The role of political partisanship and COVID-19 risk in mask adoption and resistance. Social Science & Medicine314, 115479. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.socscimed.2022.115479
  15. Fernbach, P. M., & Van Boven, L. (2022). False polarization: Cognitive mechanisms and potential solutions. Current Opinion in Psychology43, 1-6. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.copsyc.2021.06.005
  16. Robinson, R. J., Keltner, D., Ward, A., & Ross, L. (1995). Actual versus assumed differences in construal: "Naive realism" in intergroup perception and conflict. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 68(3), 404-417. https://doi.org/10.1037/0022-3514.68.3.404
  17. Taylor, S. E. (1981). A categorization approach to stereotyping. In D. H. Hamilton (ed.), Cognitive processes in stereotyping and intergroup behavior (pp. 83-114). London: Psychology Press.
  18. Ostrom, T. M., & Sedikides, C. (1992). Out-group homogeneity effects in natural and minimal groups. Psychological Bulletin, 112(3), 53-552.
  19. Rozin, P. (1999). The Process of Moralization. Psychological Science10(3), 218-221. https://doi.org/10.1111/1467-9280.00139
  20. Kugler, K., & Coleman, P. T. (2020). Get Complicated: The Effects of Complexity on Conversations over Potentially Intractable Moral Conflicts. Negotiation and Conflict Management Research, 13(3), 211-230. https://doi.org/10.1111/ncmr.12192.
  21. Fishkin, J., Siu, A., Diamond, L., & Bradburn, N. (2021). Is Deliberation an Antidote to Extreme Partisan Polarization? Reflections on “America in One Room”. American Political Science Review, 115(4), 1464-1481. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0003055421000642 
  22. Leary, K., Pillemer, J., & Wheeler, M. Negotiating with Emotion. Harvard Business Review, 91(1/2) (January-February 2013), 96-103. https://hbr.org/2013/01/negotiating-with-emotion 

Stay informed...

Knowledge transfer, debates, events – our b° newsletter shows you what constructive journalism can do for the industry and society. Stay informed by subscribing to our newsletter.

Sign up