The Emotional Side of Conflict

A Practical Guide to the Science of Both

Why this book?


The general purpose of the book is to report on the universal biological reality of human emotions in order to provide the reader with a solid foundation of knowledge on the science.


The vision of the book is to put the science of human emotions into action in order to enhance the efforts needed to resolve disputes, solve problems, and improve relationships.


In doing so, the hope is to make a positive difference in the reader’s life by helping to improve the civic discourse within our community.

“…For there is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so.

William Shakespeare

From “The Tragedy of Hamlet,
Prince of Denmark” written between
1599 – 1602

In the book, we uncover…

The Emotional Side of Conflict: A Practical Guide to the Science of Both is an Evidence-Based Book focused on the science of Human Emotions.  It distills the scientific literature into useful accessible information.  It then provides twelve strategies to help put this science into action.

Emotions Described

Emotions are natural universal biological functions:

  1. Needed to survive in the world by giving meaning in the present to the experiences of life.
  2. Words used to talk about these natural functions include negative and positive emotions, as well as feelings, moods, affect and bias.
  3. Unconscious hidden Bias is needed to make decisions by leaning toward one option and against another, thus helping us to make the choices used to navigate in the world.

Conflict Described

All conflict starts and ends in the brain, driven by emotions. It is not if a conflict will happen, but when.

  1. Conflict is simply part of living life, driven by wide variety of reasons forming in our minds. It may be based on live events, something recalled, or imagined, giving a sense of struggle, ill will, or hostility.
  2. Conflict is driven by the biological reality of how human emotions give meaning.
  3. Dispute arises when one side uses the conflict to make a direct claim against another and acts.

Science Into Action

This is an Evidence-Based Book because it:

  1. Distills the science of human emotions flowing from solid research* into useful information.
  2. Follows the evidence where it leads in order to establish fact patterns.
  3. Provides twelve strategies based on the science to help improve relationships and reduce conflict.

* Notes on solid research

1:  Information is an interpreted set of data; Valid means the data collected measured what it was supposed to; Reliable means there was consistency in the data measurement.

2: The burden of proof is on the one making the claim. To address the burden of proof in this book, the Endnotes section documents the primary sources used.

The reality is, all conflict starts and ends inside our human brain, driven by emotions.

More About the Cover

The figure used on the front cover was developed with the idea of supporting the core message in the book, the universal biological reality of human emotions.

More About the Author

James Scott Harvey has over forty-six years of human services experience, working in the areas of behavioral health, mediation, and more.

Download a free preview sample of the book

An excerpt of the book is available upon request by providing the information below.  The excerpt includes the cover, Table of Contents, Introduction, The Challenge of Managing Our Emotions, Science into Action, and Some Final Comments.

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