Behavioral and Social Sciences
Iyer, Niveditha (School: National Public School - Koramangala)
Iyer, Anantharaman (School: National Public School - HSR Layout)
Conflicts often arise between two people when they work or stay together, due to perceived incompatibility and interference from each other. Conflicts are complicated. There are no clear, simple rules for how they should be handled and people in a conflict tend to be clouded by emotions. Therefore conflicts usually require third party mediation by a perceived authority figure, for whom such mediation efforts are a time-consuming and unpleasant distraction. We present an automated means of resolving two-person conflicts, without third person intervention, using a mobile app. Besides enabling an early resolution to conflicts, it also eliminates a stressful distraction for the would-be mediator. The app converts the conflict into a cooperative game to lighten the tension and implements a point based system to incentivise the players to continue the game. Through the app, one of the persons in the conflict invites the other for the game, played in four separate rounds, each lasting about 10 minutes, over several days. The players take turns to play the rounds in the app, which uses the Thomas-Kilmann grid and aspects of kinesics and Gestalt approaches. They play separately and privately, in their own time, allowing each player to reflect on their own conduct. Much like with human mediation, the game yields an action plan for each person that the other recognises, to take their partnership forward. The points can be converted into a small reward. We present test data from 34 school student users in grades 9 -12, to demonstrate the effectiveness of this approach.