OTPIC Officially Retired

As of December 2, 2005, the Online Training Program on Intractable Conflict (OTPIC) has been officially retired, and is no longer open to new registrations.

The successor to OTPIC is a course called Dealing Constructively with Intractable Conflicts (DCIC). The new curriculum is built around one of our major projects, Beyond Intractability, and offers a much more extensive and informative set of learning materials than that available through OTPIC.

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International Online Training Program On Intractable Conflict

Conflict Research Consortium, University of Colorado, USA

Analysis Paralysis/Delay Default

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Dealing with uncertainty can be very difficult when it is not clear what will happen if a dispute is resolved in a particular way. Often the parties attempt to get around this problem by conducting more and more studies in hopes of eliminating all uncertainty and finding a risk-free way of resolving the dispute or making a decision. Unfortunately, this is usually technically impossible.  Science is seldom able to resolve complex issues completely, but only with in a range of uncertainty, which can sometimes be very large.

In these cases the additional studies accomplish little more than delaying decisions and resolution of the dispute. This in turn, results in the continuation of existing policies and actions which are often clearly worse than the other options being considered by decision makers and disputants.

For example, in the United States, we keep looking for a risk free way of disposing of the waste from nuclear power plants. As a result, we conduct study after study while the waste that has already been generated is stored near large cities under conditions which everyone regards as unsafe.

Links to Possible Treatments

Dealing With Uncertainty

Links to Related Problems

Inability to Deal with Uncertainty


Copyright 1998 Conflict Research Consortium  -- Contact: crc@colorado.edu