Cal. Litig. 2019, Volume 32, Number 1

Psychology and Persuasion in Settlement

By Stacie Feldman Hausner

Stacie Feldman Hausner

Back in the late 1800s, the great U.S. historian James Harvey Robinson observed that "most of our socalled reasoning consists in finding arguments for going on believing as we always do." Since then, many cognitive and behavioral studies have emerged to confirm Robinson’s observation and to explain that numerous cognitive biases exist that prevent people from accurately assessing the value of new and contrary information. These cognitive biases can have a large impact on whether negotiators are able to settle their disputes.

What are cognitive biases?

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