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Module A- Social Psychology in Conflict and Peacemaking.docx

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Steve Spencer

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Module A: Social Psychology in Conflict and Peacemaking  Social Trap: a situation in which the conflicting parties, by each rationally pursuing its self-interest, become caught in mutually destructive behaviour. Examples include the Prisoner’s Dilemma, the Tragedy of Commons, and pollution  The Prisoner’s Dilemma: if the two parties trust each other, they will get a lighter sentence if they don’t confess. However, by not trusting each other and not cooperating, both parties end up far worse off than if they had trusted each other and thus had gained a joint profit (lesser sentences).  The Tragedy of Commons: involves more than two people. Lacking regulation and fearing others would deplete a resource, we maximize our own consumption (just as everyone else in the group is thinking and doing). This results in a depletion or extinction of a resource, making it a lose situation for everyone involved.  When resources are not partitioned, people often consume more than they realize  Both the aforementioned events tempt people to explain their own behaviour situationally and their partners’ behaviour dispositionally; most never realize that their counterparts are viewing them with the same fundamental attribution error  People with self-inflating, self-focused, narcissistic tendencies are especially unlikely to display empathy for others’ perspectives  Non-zero-sum Games: games in which outcomes need not sum to zero. With cooperation, other can win; with competition, both can lose. Each game pits the immediate interests on individuals against the well-being of the group  Resolving Social Dilemma: 1. Regulation- regulating our common goods (such as taxes and limits on harvesting animals for food) 2. Keeping Groups Small- in small groups, individuals are more likely to take no more than their equal share of available resources; people feel more responsible and effective in small groups 3. Invoking Altruistic Norms- by appealing to their altruistic side, people can feel more responsible for their actions. Communicating with other members of the group can also tap altruistic norms  Eq
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