As lawyers, we are charged with the “zealous representation” of our clients. That includes representing clients to the best of our abilities, putting their interests ahead of our own and ensuring that they have the final say with legal decisions. A grasp of the psychology of conflict can help you better understand your clients’ needs and wants and enhance your representation of them.

One important aspect of this is motivated reasoning, which can profoundly affect clients’ attitudes toward their cases, and their willingness to negotiate. Here’s a closer look at motivated reasoning and how to address it when preparing for mediation.

What Is Motivated Reasoning?