California Mediator Mark Baer Links Low Emotional Intelligence to Mass Shootings and Other Forms of Terrorism

Pasadena, California, UNITED STATES

LOS ANGELES, July 09, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- California Mediator, Attorney and Conflict Resolution Consultant Mark B. Baer today stated that there is a common trait that mass shooters seem to share, and that is a low level of emotional intelligence, pointing out that, “Empathy for others who aren’t ‘like us’ is a leading competency of emotional intelligence.” Emotional intelligence (EI) is the ability to identify and manage one’s own emotions and the emotions of others, and has been found to help people develop resilience and coping strategies when dealing with stress.

Mark Baer is a mediator, conflict resolution consultant and collaborative family law attorney who is considered a thought leader in his industry for his psychologically-minded and relationship-centered approach. He was elected a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation in recognition of his exemplary dedication to the highest principles of the legal profession, commitment to the welfare of society, and support for the ideals, objectives, and work of the American Bar Foundation.

In a study by Emile Bruneau, a cognitive neuroscientist at MIT, it was found that some terrorists possess higher than average levels of empathy, however, their empathy is limited to those who look, think and act like they do.

“Empathy is often defined as the ability to sense other people’s emotions, coupled with the ability to imagine what someone else might be thinking or feeling,” says Baer. “Awareness of our own biases, beliefs, assumptions, values and expectations is an important component of empathy toward those outside of our ‘tribe’.”

Emotional self-awareness is not only one of the twelve components of emotional intelligence, but according to Daniel Goleman, the psychologist and author of international bestseller, Emotional Intelligence, it is “the foundation of emotional intelligence.”  

States Baer, “Higher levels of emotional self-awareness has been shown to help make us more understanding and less judgmental of others. While these skills can and should be taught, early on, by parents, even when they are not, people can develop and hone such skills on their own. Unless we take it upon ourselves to learn and master such skills, it’s highly unlikely that we will develop them.”

There are ten additional aspects of EI, which Goleman identifies as: emotional self-control, adaptability, achievement orientation, positive outlook, organizational awareness, influence, coach and mentor, conflict management, teamwork, and inspirational leadership. By developing “a balance of strengths across the suite of EI competencies,” Goleman says people are more prepared for tough challenges that may arise in their lives, at work, in leadership positions, in their marriage, and with their children.

If one is not raised in a household where they were taught to have empathy for others who are different, it’s likely that their truth is believed to be “the truth,” and anyone who disagrees with them would be deemed as wrong and possibly, immoral.

According to Goleman, coaching is the most effective method for improving areas where your EI is at its weakest. When parents haven’t developed a balance of strengths across the suite of EI competencies, they are likely to raise children with low or imbalanced emotional intelligence capabilities.

This isn’t to say that it’s the parents’ fault if their child picks up a gun and decides to shoot others. However, there is likely a link to their child’s limited worldview, the stress they experience when other people’s worldview differs from their own, and their lack of resilience and coping skills.

On June 20, 2018, a program on Restoring Civility in an Overheated Society took place at the Strauss Institute for Dispute Resolution. Managing Director Sukhsimranjit Singh stated, “To be aware of your culture, you have to get out of it.”

International mediators Tracy Allen and Eric Galton, known for their work on “Restoring Civil Discourse” added,  “The way we change our minds on moral issues is by interacting with others, especially because we are not good at seeking evidence that contradicts our beliefs.”

Baer says that’s how you gain emotional self-awareness. “For just that reason, avoiding interactions with others for reasons of ‘religious liberty’ or ‘religious freedom’ only serves to worsen the incivility in our already overheated society.

“Conflict is an unavoidable fact of life, whether it’s a serious disagreement or argument or a protracted one. However, we can develop the skills needed to effectively resolve and/or manage it. Mediators who have honed such skills, can be incredibly valuable in assisting individuals in resolving conflicts, disputes and impasses.”

A Southern California Super Lawyer since 2012 for alternative dispute resolution, Mark B. Baer is a well - known writer, focusing on the interplay between psychology and conflict resolution within the field of family law, as well as familial and interpersonal relationships in general, he has written columns for, CoParenter, the Huffington Post, and the San Gabriel Valley Psychological Association’s award-winning newsletter with many of his articles referenced in books, law review articles, and in think tank studies.


For more information, please contact:
Mark B. Baer, Esq: at (626) 389-8929

A photo accompanying this announcement is available at

Mediator and Family Law Attorney Mark Baer