12-04 Lecture

12-04 Lecture - CONFLICT: Social psychologists tend to...

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CONFLICT: Social psychologists tend to study conflict on a smaller scale, person to person, but it can be applied to any size groups. Social Roots of Conflict: Competition for Limited Resources -even relative deprivation (if someone simply has more) can cause the feeling of conflict Competition for Rewards (Realistic Conflict Theory) -conflict is less likely to occur when there exists prior positive experiences among the groups involved Social Traps -occur when opponents get “locked” into competition and both cooperation and escape are difficult * Prisoners dilemma: individuals get locked into cooperation or competition, depending on early moves in the scenario (the instance in the book; best reward is cooperation) * Commons dilemma: needs for positive individual and group outcomes become conflicted (a question of being a team player or a star) * Power differences: Both groups low power-- cooperation. One group low and the other high power--- conflict. Both groups high power-- deadlock (they know if they engage in conflict, neither will come out looking good-- Cold War US and USSR; neither could win, no cooperation, just no action) * Conflicting ideals -Rigidity in aspirations leads to a zero-sum game; one side loses, the other wins Cognitive Roots of Conflict: Stereotyping the Enemy - Inappropriately assigning certain characteristics (often negative) to an entire group of people Cognitive Discrepancy -Groups may generate completely opposite explanations for the causes of conflict Misperceptions in Conflict Situations -This includes misinterpretation of the out-group’s intentions (ex. Misperceiving defensiveness as anger/aggression) Mirror-image perceptions -groups may view each other in the same negative way (making it difficult to trust and cooperate) Freezing of Perceptions (This includes:) -it makes it difficult for us to change our minds, or give in Biased selection: selective attention to belief-congruent information (ex. If someone is nice to us one day, we discount it if usually they treat us like an enemy) Biased interpretation: selective interpretation, understanding of events (we interpret those that support our consistent beliefs) Biased elaboration of information: distortion of information so that it conforms to pre-existing belief structures (re-writing history) The Rwandan genocide, one group is viewed as an obstacle to a better life and as evil, as the targeting groups starts to dehumanize and repress, they start organized genocide. People with submission to leaders and respect of authorities are more vulnerable to falling into this violence.
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Understanding Genocide: (movie) Ervin Staub: The Roots of Evil Mass killing is the outcome of ordinary psych processes and their evolution, so we can’t predetermine which personalities are more likely to participate. It is a defense against harm.
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12-04 Lecture - CONFLICT: Social psychologists tend to...

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