The Cognitive Revolution
and International Arbitration
Before 1950s things used to be easy: it was deemed that behavior was the ultimate expression of the inner processes and the only thing worth studying.
Then the Cognitive Revolution struck. Although it didn't exactly strike, it changed the World more than any revolution that struck. The paradigm took a U-turn and the subtle inner thinking processes came into the spotlight. Perception officially became reality. The only reality for the perceiver.
It was discovered that people do not always follow normative rationality predicted by evaluations of pay-offs. Subliminal thinking processes can lead us astray in many areas:

Assessing numbers, weighting risks, deciding on credibility, rating probabilities and many others.
The impressive thing about it is that such irrationality is systematic and thus predictable. Moreover, since we can predict where irrationality is likely to occur we can try and avoid such situations.
Or vice versa we can create environments that promote irrationality. That is what sales-persons do trying to persuade us to buy something. Or what policy-makers do in order to promote certain behaviors and reduce occurrences of others.
This can also be done in the field of legal Dispute Resolution. In fact it is already being done. Some aspects of using Psychology have been among best practices in the US courts for almost 50 years now. Others are quickly winning their place in the sun.

Next time we will discuss one of them.