This study, reprinted from Handbook of Psychology and Law (D.K. Kagehiro and W.S. Laufer, eds.) reviews the available research on seven major court-administered alternative dispute resolution (ADR) procedures that appear to be particularly popular and representative of the broader range of alternatives: fee-shifting rules, small-claims mediation, victim-offender mediation, judicially mediated plea bargaining, judicial settlement conferences, court-annexed arbitration, and summary jury trials. The authors discuss potential consequences of ADR in the courts, including reductions in costs and delays, litigant satisfaction and procedural fairness, a sense of legitimacy and acceptance of ADR outcomes and preservation and enhancement of existing relationships. A growing body of research and theory can guide the design of future ADR procedures. The next round of innovation should take advantage of what is now known to optimize all the criteria that ADR programs seek to meet. Basic social-psychological laboratory experiments on dispute processing can also play an important role in informing the conduct of applied field research on ARD programs.

Originally published in: Handbook of Psychology and Law, 1992, pp. 95-118.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation Reprint series. The Reprint was a product of the RAND Corporation from 1992 to 2011 that represented previously published journal articles, book chapters, and reports with the permission of the publisher. RAND reprints were formally reviewed in accordance with the publisher's editorial policy and compliant with RAND's rigorous quality assurance standards for quality and objectivity. For select current RAND journal articles, see External Publications.

Our mission to help improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis is enabled through our core values of quality and objectivity and our unwavering commitment to the highest level of integrity and ethical behavior. To help ensure our research and analysis are rigorous, objective, and nonpartisan, we subject our research publications to a robust and exacting quality-assurance process; avoid both the appearance and reality of financial and other conflicts of interest through staff training, project screening, and a policy of mandatory disclosure; and pursue transparency in our research engagements through our commitment to the open publication of our research findings and recommendations, disclosure of the source of funding of published research, and policies to ensure intellectual independence. For more information, visit www.rand.org/about/principles.

The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.