|Author(s)||Angela Cora Garcia, Kristi Vise, Steven Whitaker|
|Title||Disputing Neutrality: When Mediation Empowerment is Perceived as Bias|
|Tag(s)||EMCA, Mediation, Empowerment, Bias|
|Journal||Conflict Resolution Quarterly|
Researchers find that some participants in mediation hearings report that the mediator was unfair or biased, but disputants rarely communi- cate these perceptions to the mediator, and very rarely do they do so dur- ing the mediation hearing itself During data collection for a study of mediation hearings, a videotape of a smal-claims mediation hearing was made in which a disputant did make such an accusation during the hearing. This serendipitous capture of an accusation of bias on videotape enables us to examine how a mediator’s actions during the hearing may have contributed to a disputant’s perception of unfairness. Narrative analysis is used to show how mediation techniques such as empowerment, representation of disputant positions, story summarizing, and emotion work can cause a perception of bias if they are applied unequally.