Sunday, April 25, 2010

Problem Solving and Conflict Resolution Role Playing

The article describes the use of role playing to come up with constructive solutions to conflict and problems in a classroom setting. The technique entails assigning people to act out a conflict scenario in order to come up with the best solution to a problem. Role playing is often used in education to improve children's interpersonal skills and ability to handle difficult social situations. It is versatile and has applications for solving problems as simple as playground bullying to those as complex as international tensions.


  • The activity simulates the emotions of an actual event which engages participants in the process.
  • The fictitious nature of the interaction reduces the psychological stress of a situation which allows shyer people to participate more fully than they might feel free to do in real life.
  • Encourages creative solutions.
  • Increases insight into another person's point of view.


  • It is not a fruitful exercise unless the participants take it seriously.

How to:

  1. Discuss the problem to be portrayed.
  2. Make sure that the participants are committed to the process.
  3. Assign roles.
  4. Act out the situation, responding spontaneously.
  5. Evaluate the actions of each player.
  6. Repeat, taking different courses of action if needed.


1 comment:

  1. For my Ph.D I explored the possibility using a scenario as a way to interview intelligence agents about confidential matters without violating confidentiality.

    In your view, how can we best use scenarios (RPing) to explore theoretical problem spaces in domains that require nondisclosure of confidential techniques?