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Dual Identity Mediation and Inter-Group Conflict: How Third-Parties Can Manage Group Identities To Resolve Conflicts
Existing work suggests that conflicts are resolved more effectively when third-parties mediate, but prior research is unclear on how third-parties can intervene effectively when disputants’ social group identities are at stake. Drawing from the conflict management and social identity literatures, we propose that third-parties can resolve conflicts effectively when they use dual identity mediation (DIM) to help disputants recognize that subgroup identities can co-exist with(in) a shared superordinate identity. We tested these predictions in three studies in competitive deal-making and emotional conflicts. Our studies show that DIM interventions produce better economic outcomes than control interventions or no third-party interventions (Study 1), lead to better relational outcomes and evaluations of outcome and third-party than established hybrid procedures of mediation and arbitration (Studies 2 and 3).