Conflict and negotiation within and between groups
APA handbook of personality and social psychology. - Vol. 2: Group processes
American Psychological Association
Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
Psychology Research Institute (PsyRes)
Intergroup competition and conflict are pervasive problems in human society, giving rise to such phenomena as prejudice, terrorism,
ethnic cleansing, and interstate war (Choi & Bowles, 2007; Fiske, 2002). This chapter reviews classic and contemporary
theory and research on (a) the origins of intergroup competition and conflict, and (b) the way humans regulate intergroup
competition and conflict. To some extent, this chapter builds on earlier analyses of interpersonal and small-group conflict
(de Dreu, 2008, 2010a; Tyler & Blader, 2003). Although interpersonal and small-group competition and conflict share critical
features with intergroup competition and conflict, the latter includes structural features and psychological mechanisms not
present in the former. Specifically, intergroup competition and conflict operate at two distinct yet closely intertwined levels
of analysis: that of the individual and that of the group to which one belongs (henceforth, the in-group). Intergroup competition
and conflict thus represents an amalgam of individual self-interests, values, and beliefs that converge into and are informed
by group interests, values, and beliefs, and both the individual and group-level interests, values, and beliefs are shaped
by and instrumental to the intergroup competition and conflict.
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