fb pixel fb conversion Pursuit of Resolution and the pursuit of happiness: Leveraging the Science of Happiness in Effective DISpute Resolution Practices  | Pepperdine School of Law

Pursuit of Resolution and the pursuit of happiness: Leveraging the Science of Happiness in Effective DISpute Resolution Practices 

Faculty:  Arthur Pearlstein and Daniel Horsey

This class will demonstrate that what is being learned from the growing study of happiness has major implications for the field and practice of conflict resolution. Starting with definitions and key findings in the study of happiness, focus will be placed on some of the most important areas of convergence between happiness and conflict resolution and how these can help us achieve maximum productivity in conflict intervention. Materials and class work will include knowledge and exercises helpful to our work as conflict resolution professionals, as mediators, and as members of communities.

What you will learn:

  • Different meanings of, and perspectives on, the concept of happiness
  • Why happiness studies may contain the most important set of new findings for those involved in conflict resolution
  • Key components of happiness with special implications for conflict resolution, including the importance of feeling in control, of exercising creativity, of acting with kindness, and of needing attention
  • Techniques for application of happiness components in mediation and other conflict interventions
  • Better understanding of the use of story in effective conflict management to productively leverage happiness factors including creativity, and the need for attention and control; practice with story methods weaving happiness and conflict resolution principles
  • How to view happiness as potentially the ultimate interest and the implications of that for mediation and conflict resolution advocacy


Arthur Pearlstein earned his JD from Harvard Law School and his master of dispute resolution from the Straus Institute at Pepperdine. He is formerly professor of law and the founding director of the Werner Institute for Negotiation and Dispute Resolution at Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska, and currently is executive director of Creighton’s Government Organization and Leadership (GOAL) program in Washington, D.C. He is former general counsel and director of ADR and international programs at the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service. He has also taught workshops in mediation and conflict management across the U.S. and in three other continents.

Daniel Horsey has worked with story and conflict for three decades. He focuses on improving skills to increase effectiveness, especially in areas of change and conflict. Based in Denver, Colorado, his clients include the Colorado Bar Association, Denver’s Academy of Urban Learning, Project C.U.R.E., and the Colorado Senate president. He is a journalism graduate from the University of Colorado with a master’s degree in conflict resolution from Antioch University. He has taught numerous courses and trainings on mediation, has served as executive director of the Colorado Council of Mediators, facilitates experiential workshops for the Werner Institute, and is a lecturer at the University of Colorado Denver. He also runs a theatre focusing on storytelling, collaboration, and conflict.