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Glossary of CRE-Related Terms

Our browseable glossary of terms related to conflict resolution in education provides quick access to terms you may hear used in the field.

Another useful tool for understanding more general education-related terms is the ERIC thesaurus.

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  • Criteria
    Definition: In principled negotiation and/or mediation, the standards used to determine whether a solution meets the interests of the parties and should be selected
    Related term(s): standards
  • Criticism
    Definition: Verbal behavior that attacks the relational partner's personality or character, presents as a general deficit, not of a specific action or issue
    Related term(s): Face attacks, identity threats
  • Cultural context
    Definition: the layers of culture that influence our communication in any given interaction
  • Cultural display rules
    Definition: rules based on our cultural expectations that guide us in terms of appropriate behavior in a given situation
  • Cultural identity
    Definition: views of ourselves that we share with other people in that culture based on influences in the culture
    Related term(s): Ethnic identity, gender identity, national identity, racial identity
  • Cultural sensitivity
    Definition: Understanding that there are different emotional cultures as well as the ability to appropriately follow the display rules prescribing and proscribing emotional expression
  • Culture
    Definition: shared ways of behaving and interpreting common to an identity group
  • Defensive climates
    Definition: a climate or atmosphere that is created when a person perceives or anticipates a threat to their face or identity
    Related term(s): Hostile climates
  • Defensive communication
    Definition: Communication that makes someone else more likely to become defensive
    Related term(s): Face-threatening communication
  • Defensiveness
    Definition: communication behaviors devoted to resisting or preventing aggression or attack from a relational partner
    Related term(s): Self-protection
  • Descriptive communication
    Definition: Non-defensive communication that describes something rather than evaluates
  • Direct acknowledgment
    Definition: a confirming behavior that acknowledges the other by directly signaling that you have heard and understand their request or statement
  • Disconfirmation
    Definition: behavior that communicates that the sender does not have the right of self-definition
    Related term(s): disrespect
  • Display rules
    Definition: a culturally created understanding of how we should strategically show or express something
    Related term(s): Norms of communicating
  • Disqualification
    Definition: the most sophisticated form of disconfirmation, looks as if you are responding to the other, but you answer refuses to engage them. Can take one of four forms: disqualify the sender, disqualify the receiver, disqualify the content, disqualify the context
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