Arbitrator Decision-Making: Unconscious Psychological Influences and What You Can Do About Them – Vol. 24 No. 3

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Author: Edna Sussman*

Published: December 2013


Mr. Coulson’s discussion of what was known at the time about psychological influences on arbitrator decision-making presaged the vigorous discussion of that subject which developed recently, some 20 years later. With the explosion of bestselling books on decision-making and the popularization of the psychological learning on the subject, attention has turned to its applicability to arbitrators. Presentations at meetings of the International Bar Association, the Swiss Arbitration Association and Brunel University in 2013 and the upcoming International Council for Commercial Arbitration (‘ICCA”) Congress in 2014 have all focused on arbitral decision-making and the role of psychology.

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*Edna Sussman is a full-time, independent arbitrator and mediator specialising in international and domestic commercial disputes and the Distinguished ADR Practitioner in Residence at Fordham University School of Law. She serves on the arbitration and mediation panels of many of the leading dispute resolution institutions and serves as the Vice Chair of the New York International Arbitration Center and on the board and the executive committee of the American Arbitration Association and the College of Commercial Arbitrators. A frequent author and lecturer, she formerly chaired the Arbitration Committee of the American Bar Association’s Section of International Law and the Dispute Resolution Section of the New York State Bar Association.