When group-members try to maximize their own benefits.
They work for self-interest and individual reward.
Competitive goals—each gets his/her goal only if others don’t attain their.
Leads to conflict and disharmony. More group cohesion and solidarity within ones group.
Determinants of Co-operation and Competition:
(a) Reward Structure:
Co-operative reward structure promotes interdependence; reward possible only if all contribute.
Competitive reward structure—only one gets the award.
(b) Interpersonal Communication: Good interpersonal communication increases co-operation (facilitates interaction, discussion, convinces each other and increases learning about each other).
(c) Reciprocity: People feel obligated to return the behaviour they get (initial co¬operation leads to increased co-operation and initial competitiveness leads to competition).
Social Identity: Aspect of our self-concept which is based on our group membership (tells us about one’s position in the larger social contact and helps us located ourselves in society)
— derives from groups we are a part of.
— includes personal attributes and attributes we share with others.
— acquires certain attributes from interaction with others in society.
— identification with social groups is important for self-concept.
— provides members with a shared set of values, beliefs and goal about ourselves and others
— in-group—group with which you identify yourself (start showing favouritism towards it. Rate it above out-group and devaluate out group—basis of intergroup conflicts).
Conflict: This is process in which either an individual or a group perceives others as having opposing interest and both try to contradict each other (‘we’ and ‘they’ feeling-are strong)
— belief that ‘others’ will protect only its own interests.
— both try to exert power on one another.
— when groups are more aggressive than individuals, it leads to escalation of conflict.
— costly human price in conflicts.
(a) Lack of communication or Faulty Communication: It leads to suspicion and lack of trust.
(b) Relative Deprivation: Compare oneself to members of the other group:
— don’t have what you desire: others have it.
— not doing well in comparison to others: deprivation depression.
(c) Belief that one is better than the other: What one partly believes should be done (if it does not happen—then members accuse one another and small differences are magnified. This leads to increased conflict).
(d) Desire for Retaliation: For harm done in the past.
(e) No Respect for Others Norms: Feeling that other group does not respect norms of my group and violates them because of malevolent intent.
(f) Biased Perception: Feeling of ‘the/ and ‘we’.
(g) People are more aggressive and competitive in groups than on their own (due to competition over scarce resources).
(h) Perceived Inequity: Equity—distribution of rewards in proportion to individual’s contributions (you feel irritated and exploited if you contribute more and are rewarded less).
— Conflicts between groups leads to series of social and cognitive processes—hardens the stand of each side (ingroup polarization).
— Coalition of like-minded parties increases apprehension. .
— Misperceptions and biased interpretations increase conflicts.
Murphy—Conflicts begin in the minds of men.
Structural Level: Increase in poverty rates, inequality, limited political and social opportunity, economic and social stratification.
Group Level: Social identity, unequal power relations, resources.
Individual Level: Beliefs, biased attitudes, personality characteristics (there is progression along a continuum of violence—butterfly effect).
(a) Communication becomes poor between groups (lack of trust—breakdown in communication leads to suspicion).
(b) Groups start magnifying their differences and perceive their behaviour as fair and others as unfair.
(c) Each side tries to increase its own power and legitimacy, thus the conflict shifts from smaller to larger ones.
(d) Once conflict starts, other factors lead to escalation of conflict (in-group opinion is hardened, out-group is threatened and when other parties choose sides, the conflict is further escalated).
Conflict Resolution Strategies:
Group think (Irving Janis)
(i) Cohesion can lead to a tendency to make irrational and uncritical decision—group allows -its concerns for unanimity.
(ii) Appearance of consensus or unanimous agreement—each member believes that all members agree upon a particular decision, no one expresses dissenting opinion (undermine cohesion of group, makes him/her unpopular).
(iii) Exaggerated sense of its own power, ignores real world cues, out of touch with reality— occurs in socially homogenous, cohesive, isolated, do not consider alternatives, decision have high cost.
(iv) Prevention-encouraging and rewarding critical thinking and disagreement, encouraging groups to present alternative courses of action, inviting outside experts to evaluate group decision, encouraging seeking feedback from trusted others.
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