Do Intergroup Conflicts Necessarily Result from Outgroup Hate?

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Abstract

We developed a new experimental design to test whether or not individuals engage in conflict between social groups because they seek to harm outgroup members. Challenging prominent social psychological theories, we did not find support for such negative social preferences. Nevertheless, subjects heavily engaged in group conflict. Results support the argument that processes that act within social groups motivate engagement in conflict between groups even in the absence of negative social preferences. In particular, we found that "cheap talk'' communication between group members fuels conflict. Analyses did not support the notion that the effect of communication results from guilt-aversion processes.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere97848
Number of pages19
JournalPLoS ONE
Volume9
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 4-Jun-2014

Keywords

  • PUBLIC-GOODS EXPERIMENTS
  • SOCIAL DILEMMAS
  • CHEAP-TALK
  • GROUP IDENTITY
  • COMMUNICATION
  • COOPERATION
  • PROMISES
  • GAMES
  • PREFERENCES
  • TEAM

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