This page contains sample examination questions for Soc 345, Conflict Resolution. These are actual questions asked on quizzes and examinations the last time the class was taught by Cliff Donn.

Quizzes: These are the kind of questions that may appear on quizzes.

According to Stone, Patton and Heen (Chap. 4, Abandon Blame) how can you help the other party to a conversation understand their contribution to the problem?  Explain.

What do Fisher, Ury and Patton (Chap. 3, Focus on Interests, Not Positions), mean when they say that the question “why” has two different meanings?  Explain.

Goldberg, “A Modest Proposal for Better Integrating Collective Bargaining and Interest Arbitration,” suggests a change in interest arbitration procedures.  What change does he suggest and why?

Mid-term and Final: These are the kind of questions that may appear on the mid-term and the final exam.

In class we identified differences in perceptions as a potential source of conflict.  What does it mean to say that a conflict is based on differences in perceptions?  Explain.

What is a contract of adhesion?  Explain and provide two examples.

Final Exam: This kind of question appears only on the final examination.

Bethany and Jennifer are college roommates.  They share a double room in a suite of six women which consists of three double rooms, a small lounge with a sofa and loveseat and a bathroom.  Lately they seem to argue all of the time.  Bethany complains that Jennifer stays up until quite late with the lights on reading and that she can’t sleep with the lights on.  Jennifer complains that Bethany’s boyfriend is around all the time and that they play loud music when she is trying to study.  They dislike each other’s tastes in music and Bethany says Jennifer watches television in the room or plays on her computer early in the morning when she is trying to sleep.  They have asked their suitemates if anyone is willing to swap with one of them but no one is willing.

Eventually, Bethany and Jennifer just couldn’t take it any more and they went to the residence life office each asking that the other be removed from the room.  They were told that neither could have the other removed as a matter of policy.  However, the dean of residence life has also told them they there are no spaces available even if one of them is willing to move so they will have to stay together for the rest of the academic year (it is currently November).  The dean also said that they should be grown up enough to work out their differences.  The dean has given them two weeks to find a way to resolve their conflict.  If they haven’t agreed on a way to live together in two weeks, they will both have to leave the dorm and withdraw from school!

In desperation, Bethany and Jennifer have come to the campus dispute resolution center and asked you for help.  They would like you to propose a way to help them resolve their differences.

Write a memorandum describing to Bethany and Jennifer how you might be able to help them negotiate an agreement.  In addition, indicate the source(s) of their conflict and what different dispute resolution techniques they might try to use to resolve their conflict.  Propose at least four different dispute resolution techniques as alternatives and, using concepts from our class and readings, indicate the advantages and disadvantages to Bethany and Jennifer of each alternative.  Then suggest what might be the basis of a settlement (i.e. what agreement you might suggest) of their dispute, again justifying your suggestions by explicit reference to concepts from the class and readings.