An annotated collection of more than 5000 links to resources and ideas for the teaching of social psychology and related courses organized by topic





Attitudes & Behavior

Attraction & Relationships

Conflict & Peacemaking


Genes, Gender, & Culture

Group Influence





Psychology in the Courtroom

Social Beliefs & Judgments

The Self






























Conflict & Peacemaking


Activities and Exercises



Multimedia Resources (audio, video)

Topic Resources


Class Assignments

Articles, Books, and Book Chapters

= new link as of September 1, 2023

Report broken links here


Activities and Exercises

The Prisoner's Dilemma - - Here is a fun, clever, interactive version of the game that allows one to compare different strategies. Hat tip to Kristie Campana and her students.

Conflict & Peacemaking - A small collection of assignments instructors created to teach students to be more receptive to the views of others, and to be able to distinguish fact from fake news

Responding to conflict with kindness - "When people act hostile towards us we tend to act hostile in return. . . .  But what happens when we engage in noncomplementarity (or noncomplementary behavior); what happens when we don't match the tone coming at us?"

Prisoner's Dilemma

The power of words

Professor's exam question - Professor offers 2 or 6 extra credits points on the students' final paper grade.  But if more than 10% select 6 points then no one gets any extra points.

Five in-class experiments - [added 3/2/15]

Ugli Oranges Activity - Activity addresses conflict resolution and group decision making -- provided by Valerie Pruegger. [added 2/18/14]

Interactive prisoner's dilemma - not only can you play the game, but you can manipulate a number of variables and select different strategies at this site

Interactive prisoner's dilemma - play the game; includes links to explanations

Ingroup bias - To illustrate how easily and quickly we form ingroups and outgroups, I divide my class into those wearing tennis shoes that day and those not wearing tennis shoes. Then I have each group sit in a circle with its members. The "tennis shoe" group is assigned to list as many reasons as it can think of as to why the members of the other group did not wear tennis shoes that day. The non-tennis shoe group is assigned to list as many reasons as it can as to why the other group members are wearing tennis shoes. The listing starts out fairly neutral, but it is not long before each group's list becomes more and more derogatory, particularly when it overhears the list the other group is generating.


Multimedia Resources (Video / Images)


  "The roots of polarization" (19:28) - The link is to a podcast on the topic from Dominic Packer and subscriber Jay Van Bavel. Here is a link to the follow-up podcast on some solutions to polarization.

  "From activism to radicalization: The tipping point of unfairness" (19:28) - From APS, this podcast is a companion piece to the APS President's final column, "The societal divide: What can we do about it?" linked above. Conflicts driven by nationalism, ideologies, and cultures have become all too common.  What can psychological science tell us about the causes and mental processes that push people from activism to radicalization?

Longing for the "good old days" (24:47) - This podcast includes a discussion with Michael Wohl regarding recent research published in Current Directions. "As the United States prepares for its next election, this research provides intriguing insights into how political rhetoric tends to capitalize on the relation between these emotions by promising to “bring back the good old days.”  Here is a link to a report of research that is related.

Conflict resolution - a podcast on the topic from Michael Britt [added 2/18/14]


Protecting democracy in a time of extreme polarization (9:26) - A documentary from Jay Van Bavel and Dominic Packer

Collective effervescence (12:45) - David Myers writes about a fascinating phenomenon in which "socially produced arousal and loss of self enable moral elevation -- a prosocial feeling of warmth and an expansion of self that bonds us to others. " In particular, the video which is linked to in Myers' essay focuses on vocal harmony, or "social-musical initiative centering around mass singing events." Worth a look.

Us vs. Them (5:27) - Jay Van Bavel and his colleague Dominic Packer produce a series of excellent essays. This one includes a very nice video they created for a Ted Talk.

How to outsmart the Prisoner's Dilemma? (5:45) - fun example of the dilemma with short-term and long-term strategy -- a Ted Talk from Lucas Husted

The Power of Us - Jay Van Bavel and his colleague, Dominic Packer, have written a new book, The Power of Us. They have created some interesting videos that illustrate some of the points in the book. Here is a link which takes you to a page where they describe how they have put together some resources for teaching about this subject.

Political sectarianism (4:04) - Eli Finkel and others wrote an excellent paper on political sectarianism as the root of the current conflicts in the U.S.  Here is some CNN video discussing this "root cause" including a brief interview with Eli Finkel. 

Series of interviews with researchers on intergroup relations - Interviewed by subscriber Jordan Axt — thank you, Jordan, for sharing these.

Social dilemmas (5:46)

Monkeys dislike unequal pay (2:43) - Hilarious video – wait, I’m going to go watch it again!

Can we reduce conflict/prejudice if people are willing to sit down with each other? (4:25) - That is what this Heineken beer ad asks.

Ex-Westboro church members tells her story (15:17) - She tells a beautiful story that has a lot to teach us all.

Russian-Georgian conflict - (2:54) A good video overview of the origins of the conflict -- send your students to watch it before class leading into a discussion of conflict. [added 3/22/09]

"Why I am opposed to the war in Vietnam" - (22:49) speech by Martin Luther King [added 4/9/08]

"Conflict, violence, and war" - This was a lecture series from 2004-05 featuring speakers from a variety of disciplines. Videos of those lectures are available. [added 11/23/07]




Class Assignments


Building Cross-Cultural Understanding Through Facebook - This project also won honorable mention for the 2013 Social Psychology Network Action Teaching Award. "This assignment uses social media to give students a chance to have meaningful cross-cultural interactions while learning about social psychology and ways to promote international dialogue, peace, and social justice. In this particular case, a Facebook page was co-developed by psychology classes in Egypt and the United States, and student groups in each class were asked to design a program that would improve relationships between Muslims and non-Muslim Westerners by using what they had learned about (1) the causes of prejudice and intergroup conflict, and (2) methods for reducing prejudice and making peace. After students designed their programs, they discussed them in class and then posted their ideas to the Facebook page for comments by students from the other country. As a result of this cross-cultural exchange, students often reported that they had not only learned about psychology of prejudice reduction but that their own prejudices had been reduced. As one student summed up the experience in her final Facebook post: 'thank you all for teaching so much in such a short period of time! I learned a lot about you and about myself from this project, and I know that the lessons I learned will stay with me for the rest of my life.'" [added 8/9/13]

Using Lessons from the Holocaust to Reduce Bullying - The final honorable mention from the 2007 Action Teaching Award was given to Ruth T. Hannon for her creative assignment in her Perspectives of the Holocaust course. From the proposal: "Over the next several class sessions, our college students meet in small groups to design projects to be taken to the middle school. Their task is to use lessons from the Holocaust to teach about the dynamics of prejudice, hate speech, and bullying close to home. For example, our students have spoken about the psychology of conformity and depicted how conformity operates in bullying situations. Middle school students come to see the power of conformity in such situations, and they learn ways to resist being drawn into bullying behaviors. Lively discussions follow and, oftentimes, middle schoolers share stories about bullying they've witnessed." [added 7/7/07]

Paper Assignments

Collection of assignments on accepting/recognizing views of others - A small collection of assignments instructors created to teach students to be more receptive to the views of others, and to be able to distinguish fact from fake news



Cooperation vs. Competition

  Contact between groups - Three seesaws were built through the wall at the U.S.-Mexico border to allow children to play together.

Superordinate goal and ingroup/outgroup - This blog entry discusses the U.S.'s current debates over refugees and Muslims.

Superordinate goals - Applies research on breaking down group lines and finding common external threats to the Hillary Clinton/Bernie Sanders rift

Superordinate goal - Cleaning up after a tornado brings divided town together. [added 8/9/13]

Retail work
Through working at Macy's [a department store], I have learned that niceness does not always lead you to the best outcome for every situation. Every time we clock into work, we have a sales goal that we have to obtain by the time our shift is over. Because of this, if we are working with someone else we are faced with the dilemma of amicably working together with the coworker or to compete with them in order to more surely meet our sales goal. In the past, I have always been used to fully cooperating with my coworkers in order to get the job done more effectively. Not until I have been thrown into the shark tank that is the retail workplace that have I been faced with the idea that I must make sure that one person doesn't take all of the department's sales away from me while I am working on something else away from the register. In order to get around this large barrier between us and to establish understanding that both of us need to meet a certain goal, I always ask how the other person is doing for the day and how much more money he or she needs to bring in. By doing this, I make the person aware of how he/she needs to either pick up the pace or slow down and allow me a chance to ring some transactions. This way, I can stay competitive with my sales intake while remaining friendly and cooperative with the person that I am working with. Another way to keep the balance of competition and cooperation in the department is to ask each customer if anyone else has been assisting or working with them to make their visit more enjoyable. If the customer says that they really did not need help so no one assisted them, then I can ring them up without hesitation. However, if someone has been helping them, then it is only fair to let the person helping them ring them up because they were the ones who earned the money from the transaction. With this, a lot of trust is built up between people in the store, trust that other people will pull their own slack and trust that they will only build their sales goal with the customers that they have helped or with the customers that had no significant assistance from any other coworker. [added 12/17/12]

Exposure to outgroup - A Muslim reality show, "All-American Muslim," will be appearing on TLC beginning November 13, 2011. Will it help reduce conflict or prejudice or discrimination? Who will watch it? Some research possibilities there for you or your students. [added 1/15/12]

Using incentives for cooperation or conciliation - "Rice, in Nairobi, offers incentives to end violence." [added 4/11/08]

Promoting Arab and Israeli cooperation - interesting example of "peacebuilding through health initiatives"

Cooperation and competition are very important in a job related atmosphere. Cooperation is something a small group within the office I work in is in need of. This group has five girls in it which are all competitive. The team effort belief in this part of our company is diminishing. The problem seems to be that the girls are afraid to cooperate because they won't get the credit or be recognized individually for their effort or ideas. Some social loafing is taking place. They are so eager to do well and improve that they tend to do their jobs ignoring all factors around their areas except their own. They are afraid to communicate or trust because someone might steal their idea or rework it. In addition, the males in our office tend to cooperate more than the females. I believe that females feel they must be more competitive to be noticed in our office. However, this competitiveness, lack of trust and communication is hurting their cooperation levels. Many times the girls refuse to talk and just clam up with one another. This creates gates or blocks in good working habits and therefore poor performance. In addition, this attitude expands and turns into threats like "Well, I'm just not going to do it" or "It's not my job." Unfortunately, these threats reduce the chance of cooperation. However, I believe the girls are basically competitive and there is no hatred as an outsider might think just by hearing or observing this situation. In addition, I believe this problem is going to be tackled soon. A meeting is going to take place on Tuesday of next week for these five girls. Finally, this mess was brought to a manager's attention (his eyes are usually closed to problems until they're overwhelming -- yet, another problem area). He realized that there are some problems and that most of all the competition within this group has brought about hostility. He is going to bring them together (the meeting) which is one good starting approach to get these girls back on track. I'm sure he is going to then force them to cooperate or else. I'm sure it will work.

Sources of Conflict

Superordinate goal and ingroup/outgroup - This blog entry discusses the U.S.'s current debates over refugees and Muslims.

Ingroup bias - When I was in Grammar School, it was the biggest deal to be part of the popular group; that’s all I ever wanted. Finally, after years of trying I made it in this distinctive group. This is the perfect example for the Ingroup/Outgroup. In order to be in our group, which by the way we called ourselves the “perfect 10” because there were ten of us, you had to be and act a certain way. Your hair had to be done a certain way, it had to be a certain color, and on various days we all planned to wear matching items. One particular day I remember was a Friday, we called it “crazy pants day.” We all had to wear tight animal print pants and a black top. Everyone wanted to be a part of this group. If you weren’t in it, we were making fun of you, whether it was how you looked, who you hung out with, or just for who you were. We were awful little girls. I remember one day, the day we wore the crazy pants, a few teachers overheard what we were planning and planned to wear matching outfits that same Friday. It’s quite odd looking back and realizing just how big of an impact we had even on adults. By no means am I saying this was a good thing. There are many days where I wish I could take it all back. Why do we have to have these groups, that make others just feel terrible? What was it that gave this group I was in all the power? Even though I was a very mean little girl, I believe if I hadn’t have had experiences like this I wouldn’t be who I am today. Finally I left the “Perfect 10” because I couldn’t take making fun of others for no apparent reason, and now I don’t really judge anybody without getting to know them. [added 4/16/08]

The power of symbols - Here's an interesting story of a couple in Colorado who have been threatened with a fine by the homeowners association if they do not take down their Christmas wreath shaped like a peace sign "that some say is an anti-Iraq protest or a symbol of Satan." [12/27/06]

Tragedy of the Commons

Tragedy of the commons - and climate change

Tragedy of the Commons, use of norms, fear appeals, and more - David Myers shares this example from Cape Town’s severe water shortage and its efforts to encourage citizens to conserve.

And the environment - Amusing example from The Onion: "How bad for the environment can throwing away one plastic bottle be?" 30 million people wonder. [added 2/6/10]

Prisoner's Dilemma

Prisoner’s dilemma

Prisoner's Dilemma - David Myers pointed me to this game show which apparently forces contestants into a sort of prisoner's dilemma at the end of each game, with communication permitted. See the very interesting strategy this particular contestant uses. [added 6/20/12]

Over the months since my daughter started back to school, I've been experiencing a mini-Prisoner's Dilemma. Every month the school sends home a notice pleading for volunteers for the Picture-Parent Program. (Once a month a parent would show a print by a famous artist to the class, giving details about the work of art, the artist, etc.) Every month I have been selfish and ignored the requests, hoping that someone else's parent will volunteer. (Partly I have ignored the requests because I truly don't have time since I'm enrolled full time at NCC. Partly I've ignored the requests because of a stereotype that I have about the typical suburban housewife -- lots of free time to fritter away here and there on nonessentials.) They have more time than I do; therefore, let them do it. Well, evidently, they are being selfish also because yesterday a final notice came home from school. My daughter's class still does not have a volunteer. Unless someone responds this week, her class will miss out on this "valuable learning experience." Thus comes the Prisoner's Dilemma. If I continue to be "selfish," it's the best thing for me but bad for my daughter's class. If I don't ignore it and the other's don't ignore it, then that's best for the school but not for me. If we all ignore it (which we have so far) it's bad for the school but better for me than if I don't ignore it but the others do. They will be following their most selfish strategy and I will be mad. So far we have both been following our most dominant strategy -- ignore the notice. What to do now?! Another reason I have for not wanting to volunteer is that I fear they will use the foot-in-the-door technique. They'll start off with just being a Picture-Parent. It only takes one hour per month and you care about your child's education, don't you? Then once they've got you at the school, they start lowering the boom with project after project that needs your help. You start off slowly just helping out and before you know it; somehow, you're the chairperson of the committee running the project yourself. My initial commitment to the school would cause me to be consistent. I know it's all happened before.

Blacktop Illusion

When reading about the blacktop illusion I couldn't help but think about the Bears and Packers. After the initial emotions died down when Charles Martin body slammed Jim McMahon a couple years ago, most people, and especially the Bear players, felt the whole incident was the Green Bay coach's fault. Everyone was blaming Forrest Gregg for instilling evil in the hearts of his players and teaching them to play dirty. The Bears must have felt the players were just normal people like themselves so the Green Bay players must have been mislead by the coaching staff.


Topic Resources

Americans are becoming more cooperative -- According to a meta-analysis of 511 studies conducted between 1956 and 2017

Showing off your status and wealth makes you seem less cooperative -- Interesting studies using Prisoner's Dilemma and real-world profiles

Equality sounds good, but keeping my advantage sounds even better -- "In an old Eastern European fable, God appears before an impoverished peasant named Vladimir and offers to grant him one wish-anything he wants. Vladimir is thrilled. But then God adds a caveat: Whatever he grants Vladimir, he also will grant to Ivan, Vladimir's neighbor, twice over. Vladimir mulls this over a bit and then responds, 'Okay, God, I want you to gouge one of my eyes out.'"

Moralizing issues can persuade -- and stifle compromise

A variety of articles on the topic - Collected by APS

Environmentalists are better cooperators, and perceived to be that way

"People co-operate more willingly with others from their own country"

Why so much polarization in the U.S. compared to other democracies? - interesting analysis of four possible sources of this difference

When more self-sufficient, less cooperative

Games! - interesting essay about the roles games play in life and in our research

A real-life Lord of the Flies? - I don't know how accurate this story is, but it tells of six boys shipwrecked on an island all by themselves in 1966.

"In negotiations, givers are smarter than takers" - "In a comprehensive analysis of 28 studies, the most successful negotiators cared as much about the other party’s success as their own."

“How the political primary season creates psychological tribes”

My enemy’s enemy is my friend - “Common enemies blur lines between groups in conflict.”

“Why do groups protect immoral group members?” - Is that’s what is happening in the U.S. Senate right now?

Competition - a series of articles on research related to competition, from APS

Behind the scenes of the Robbers Cave study - I cannot vouch for the accuracy of this story, but it provides an interesting look into some unknown details of the famous Sherif study at the Robbers Cave summer camp.

Identity versus issues - According to this study, U.S. politics has become more about identity with a particular party or group and less about the issues.  As we know, identity is far more powerful.

The power of the concept of a caliphate for ISIS recruiting - very interesting analysis of the ingroup appeal of the caliphate and how its destruction affects its appeal

"Cooperation driven by reciprocity, not conformity" - "New research suggests that reciprocity - cooperation under the assumption that we will receive benefits in return - outweighs our desire to conform with group norms when we are deciding whether to cooperate with someone."

Who names a group?  Who generates its euphemisms? - Alt-right.  Alt-left.  Social Psychologists.  This interesting blog entry discusses the sociology of group naming.

Us vs. Them and terrorism - another good essay on how framing the world as us versus them does not help address terrorism

Ingroup-congruent behavior less memorable than ingroup-incongruent behavior - According to this research, we remember when you violate our ingroup expectations.

How do Americans feel about social and political activism? - a blog entry on the topic

4-year-olds are loyal to their group

"Economic inequality has reached extreme levels" - a report from Oxfam International [added 3/2/15]

"Why is there so much animosity between groups that seem so similar?" - very good essay by David Myers [added 3/2/15]

The Robbers Cave study - a good historical review of the classic study -- h/t Michael Britt [added 2/18/14]

"Does diversity undermine community trust?" - [added 2/18/14]

Does hunger lead to hoarding or sharing? - Blog entry looks at some interesting research on the question. [added 8/9/13]

"When not to pat someone on the shoulder" - blog entry describes some interesting research about how touching in a competitive situation can be interpreted negatively [added 12/19/12]

5 ways the Internet is dividing us - good description of hidden and not-so-hidden ways the online world can create division between us -- h/t Melissa Ross [added 12/19/12]

The Cuban missile crisis - 50 years - With an Iranian crisis brewing, it may be worth looking back at the Cuban missile crisis. Foreign Policy provides some good resources for doing so.
[added 12/19/12]

The psychology of revenge - Good APS Observer article [added 1/29/12]

Global Conflict and Cooperation - a lot of reports and other resources from the Institute on Global Conflict and Cooperation at the University of California [added 7/14/10]

The Peacemaker's Toolkit - "With five volumes now published, the United States Institute of Peace (USIP) releases its new and growing "Peacemaker’s Toolkit," a multivolume series of handbooks for people working in conflict zones around the world. Already, even with several more volumes to come, the series is the most definitive compilation of guidance in existence for international mediators."
[added 7/14/10]

Sharing initial preferences - This blog entry summarizes the research by recommending "don't start group discussions by sharing initial preferences." Why, what happens? Nope, not going to tell you. You have to go read it. [added 7/14/10]

Global survey of peacefulness - This survey, from the Vision of Humanity/Economist Intelligence Unit/Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies, ranks nations on peacefulness. Should be a good lesson in operational definitions as well. [added 8/05/07]

Assimilating immigrants in U.S. vs. France - This publication from the RAND Corporation, "Assimilating immigrants: Why America can and France cannot," compares the success and failure of the two countries to responding to mass immigration. [added 1/15/06]

"Why are rivalries so intense?" - Unfortunately, this article does little to answer the title question, but it does describe a variety of rivalries in college football. Provides for interesting conversation about the topic. [added 1/13/06]

"Establishing law and order after conflict" - a 2005 RAND report describing and analyzing efforts at reconstruction in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Kosovo [added 1/8/06]

Dialogue with the Muslim world - This report draws on focus groups in the Muslim world to identify strategies to open a dialogue between the U.S. and the Muslim world and to reduce anti-American sentiment. [added 9/20/05]

A Muslim response to 9/11 - "The following web page is produced through the cooperation of over 50 professors of Islamic Studies and Middle Eastern Studies from the US and Canada. These scholars are members of the Study of Islam section at the American Academy of Religion, the largest international organization responsible for the academic study of religion." Lots of articles, statements and images. [added 12/1/04]

Days of Infamy: December 7 and 9/11 - comparison of two infamous days in American history -- hear the voices of people immediately following each event, and more [added 12/1/04]

The Conflict Map - From the Nobel Foundation, this interactive map allows you to trace and read about major conflicts of the 20th century as well as view the geographic origins of Nobel Peace Prize winners. [added 7/1/04]

INCORE - "INCORE (International Conflict Research) was set up in 1993 by the University of Ulster and the United Nations University to undertake research and policy work that is useful to the resolution of ethnic, political and religious conflicts. Currently, INCORE's research focuses mainly on post conflict issues, issues of governance and diversity, and research methodology in violent societies." Lots of good resources on conflict and peacemaking can be found here including the "Ethnic Conflict Research Digest" which reviews research and publications on ethnic conflict and the "Conflict Data Service" which provides extensive examples of ongoing conflicts and peace agreements that have been created. [added 4/5/04]

Country - okay, this site isn't directly related to social psych, but if you are dealing with international issues and you and your students need to learn more about certain countries, this is a great place to begin - plus, its tagline is "eradicate conflict by building cultural awareness" [added 3/21/02]

CrisisWeb - reports on conflicts and crises around the world presented by the International Crisis Group [added 3/6/02]

Center for Collaborative Organizations - articles, research projects and links on work teams

Crowds - search at Project Gutenberg for two classic articles from Gustave Le Bon

Nonviolent Conflict - excellent PBS resource "A Force More Powerful: A Century of Nonviolent Conflict" covers South Africa, Gandhi's resistance in India, and other examples

Group Conflict

Iraq Conflict

Operation Truth - Personal stories and issues from the troops who served or are serving in Iraq [added 12/1/04]

Prisoner's Dilemma

The prisoners' dilemma - Lots of examples and resources related to the prisoners' dilemma [added 3/30/04]

Interactive prisoner's dilemma - not only can you play the game, but you can manipulate a number of variables and select different strategies at this site

Interactive prisoner's dilemma - play the game; includes links to explanations

Prisoner's dilemma - explanation and a few links

Other Conflicts

Conflict in Western Sahara - "It is a disputed territory on the north-west corner of Africa, on the western edge of the Sahara Desert, where it meets the Atlantic Ocean - not far from the Canary Islands. Morocco says it governed the region before colonial rule and is therefore part of its territory. But the Polisario Front is fighting for the region's independence and its supporters say the dispute is Africa's only remaining fight against colonial rule." Here is more info on the conflict. [added 12/18/10]

Merkel: Multicultural society has failed - That is the German Chancellor claiming that attempts to build a multicultural society in Germany have not worked. [added 12/18/10]

Israel stops humanitarian flotilla; violence erupts - This just happened today. Apparently, organizers of the flotilla of ships were challenging the Israelis' blockade of Gaza to bring attention to the plight of those living there. Will such a strategy succeed? As the above article notes, will the death of non-Palestinians make it more likely that the world will pay attention? Here is video from the confrontation. [added 7/14/10]

At least 500 dead in Nigeria - as a result of religious and ethnic conflict [added 7/14/10]

The conflict in Northern Ireland - This link from BBC News Online. And more from PBS. [added 3/8/10]

Conflict and politics in Northern Ireland (1968 to present) - Lots of good, well-organized resources on the conflict [added 1/18/10]

Afghanistan, Iraq, and Pakistan - a lot of good up-to-date information on the ongoing conflicts in these countries [added 7/17/09]

"Mumbai: A battle in the war for Pakistan" - a good report from the Council on Foreign Relations regarding the India-Pakistan conflict and related issues [4/17/09]

Russia-Georgia conflict - good background info in a report from the U.S. Congressional Research Service [added 11/21/08]

"The Malay-Muslim insurgency in Southern Thailand -- Understanding the conflict's evolving dynamic" - a report from the RAND Corporation [added 8/09/08]

Sports fanaticism - an interesting essay by David Myers on why "fans sulk in defeat and exult in victory" [added 5/09/08]

"Inside Gaza: The challenge of clans and families" - [added 4/5/08]

The traveler's dilemma - Dilemma about two travelers who find... well, you can read about it, and some research connected to this dilemma. [added 7/16/07]

Younger vs. older workers - Interesting studies: "The population of most developed societies is 'graying'. As life expectancy increases and the large baby-boom generation approaches retirement age, this has critical consequences for maintaining a high standard of living and the sustainability of pension systems. In the light of these labor-force and social concerns, we consider experimentally the comparative behavior of juniors (under 30) and seniors (over 50) in both experiments conducted onsite with the employees of two large firms and in a conventional laboratory environment with students and retirees. Our results are compelling. First, seniors are not more risk-averse, as opposed to the conventional stereotype. Second, both juniors and seniors react to the competitiveness of the environment and there is no significant difference in performance in the real-effort task across the generations when they are competing. Third, seniors are typically more cooperative than juniors in a team-production game. Cooperation is highest in groups in which there is a mix of juniors and seniors, suggesting that there are indeed benefits in maintaining a work force with diversity in age." [added 7/7/07]

Leaving the toilet seat down - Oh, you didn't realize this issue was ultimately one of game theory and conflict resolution? Read on... [added 1/1/06]

The Middle East Buddy List - has created this unique presentation of the different parties in the Middle East. Find out who is friend or enemy of whom, or maybe "it's complicated." [added 12/22/06]

The Hizbollah perspective - "Hizbollah's outlook in the current conflict" is a report from Amal Saad-Ghorayeb, an assistant professor at the Lebanese American University. Saad-Ghorayeb attempts to answer questions about the motives and objectives of Hizbollah in the current Hizbollah/Israeli conflict. This report is from the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. [added 12/22/06]

How Westerners and Muslims view each other - a report of attitudes from the Pew Global Attitudes Project - a lot of interesting data [added 7/6/06]

Anti-Americanism in Turkey - "The anatomy of anti-Americanism in Turkey" is a report from The Brookings Institution. [added 1/13/06]

Riots in France (2005) - info and photos about the riots in France - more info can be found here [added 1/13/06]

"Exploring religious conflict" - A brief text from the RAND Corporation, it "reports the result of a workshop that brought together intelligence analysts and experts on religion with the goal of providing background and a frame of reference for assessing religious motivations in international politics and discovering what causes religiously rooted violence and how states have sought to take advantage of or contain religious violence — with emphasis on radical Islam." [added 1/8/06]

Dispute between China and Japan - Find lots of resources from the BBC on ongoing conflicts between China and Japan, the trigger being "Japan's decision to approve eight new school textbooks, which critics say gloss over the country's actions before and during World War II." [added 8/30/05]

North Korea nuclear crisis - another BBC News treatment of the crisis (2005), with timeline and related stories [added 6/17/05]

Nepal crisis - (2005) [added 6/17/05]

The Cuban Missile Crisis - Declassified documents, audio clips, chronology, analysis and more from an exhibit "The Cuban Missile Crisis, 1962: The 40th Anniversary" from the National Security Archive at George Washington University [added 12/1/04]

The Chechen conflict - a good set of resources from the BBC on events [added 12/1/04]

The Sudan conflict - a report from the British House of Commons [added 12/1/04]

BBC News country profiles - The BBC News site is a rich source of information about conflicts around the world. One good resource is the Country Profiles section which provides your students with background info about any country which can help them understand past and present conflicts. Then, beyond the background info, the site provides in depth information on current conflicts such as the Nepal Conflict. [added 6/9/04]

"Brown at 50: King's dream or Plessy's nightmare?" - A report (2004) from The Civil Rights Project at Harvard University describes findings that gains in desegregation peaked in the late 1980s in the United States and has since declined to the level it was in 1969, the year after Martin Luther King’s assassination. Furthermore, whites have very little contact with minorities in most places in the U.S. [added 3/30/04]

Conflict and Peacemaking: Cuban Missile Crisis - The Washington Post has made available its actual newspaper reports from 1962 coverage of Cuban missile crisis [added 12/03/02]

History of Apple Computing - interesting case of group conflict and other processes as told by Glen Sanford [added 3/6/02]

"Intergroup Conflict and Cooperation: The Robbers Cave Experiment" - classic article from Muzafer Sherif et al.

Another look at Sherifs' Robbers Cave studies - an interesting retelling taking into account the Sherifs' earlier studies [added 12/9/07]

"Behind the Mask: The IRA and Sinn Fein" - PBS Frontline show (1998) on conflict in Northern Ireland

Peacemaking / Reducing Conflict

"How group-oriented leaders can drive success and collaboration"

"4 in 5 Americans would put aside differences for common causes" -- At least that's what the survey says. I want to see the studies that directly test that. Ask your students how they would test whether people actually would.

"How do we make society less polarized?" -- This blog entry discusses some research that tries a novel approach -- trying to get people to reclassify the way they look at something. The study used the contents of a refrigerator, and asked participants to classify the fridge as a Biden or a Trump fridge.

"What can bridge political divides?" -- "What a political opponent would have to say to increase your respect for them." We found that 56% of participants believed facts and statistics would drive respect, while only 21% believed experience sharing would. However, this intuition is wrong. While we all believe facts are truth, in reality, personal experiences are seen as both more undeniable and more true-making personal experiences powerful in bridging political and moral divides."

Meet a Jew program -- "The Central Council of Jews in Germany has launched a program called 'Meet a Jew' in the hopes that if Germans actually met a real, live Jewish person, perhaps it could be a start in addressing the burgeoning antisemitism in the country."

"The myth of tribalism" - Interesting essay -- tribalism does not have to be a bad thing.

"The societal divide: What can we do about it?" - This essay is the final column from APS President Shinobu Kitayama.

"Training to wisely navigate social conficts"

Can a sense of fairness overcome political differences? - interesting research

Conflict resolution - The APS provides a series of articles on the topic.

“More unites us than divides us” - A new study suggests that diverse groups around the world share more in common in terms of their beliefs and values than polarised reporting too often suggests.”

"Anger derails negotiations, unless you have a plan"

"The seven habits of highly depolarizing people" - Here are some very good suggestions for persuading or working with those who are quite polarized in their views.  I was going to say "provide alternate facts," but this is probably better advice.

Is cooperation more likely after more or less deliberation? - Research says... "making decisions based on intuition significantly increased rates of cooperation, but only under circumstances where self-interest was always the best option.  When people had time to has out all the details in these situations, they were far less cooperative."

"Six elements to make your apology optimal"

Reducing conflict through intergroup contact - recent research conducted in the field

The power of intergroup contact - Another, recent meta-analysis of intergroup contact research again found it can be quite effective in reducing such conflict.

When to make the first offer - "A subsequent analysis of the negotiations conducted between those who were diametrically opposed clearly showed that the negotiator who made the opening offer, on average, benefitted to the tune of $5.60 million more than his opponent. A clear First-Mover Advantage. However the opposite was the case for the negotiation parties who shared compatible views. In these situations the party making the opening offer ended up with significantly less value. What the authors coined a First Mover Disadvantage." [added 3/2/15]

Does gossip promote cooperation? - Research suggests that the threat of ostracism behind some gossip discourages self-interest and encourages cooperation. [added 2/18/14]

Building cooperation among rivals - an essay from subscriber Steve Martin at the Influence at Work site [added 2/18/14]

"Staring eyes 'deter' Newcastle University bike thieves" - Lots of possible research variations with this idea -- very cool. [added 8/9/13]

A new nuanced view of oxytocin's effects on social behavior - a brief summary of a talk which reviews what we currently know about oxytocin and social behavior [added 8/9/13]

Rebuilding a burned-out Mosque - This columnist argues that "helping a burned-to-the-ground Missouri mosque quickly re-build would make a powerful and constructive statement." [added 12/19/12]

The handshake as contract - [added 5/30/11]

Negotiation over computers: Distance matters - "Negotiations that take place over computer, without face-to-face contact, have more chance of success when those negotiating think there is greater physical distance between each other. That's according to Marlone Henderson who says the new finding is compatible with Construal Level Theory. This is the discovery that people think about things more abstractly when they perceive that they're further away in time or space (e.g. see earlier). In terms of negotiations, thinking more abstractly is beneficial because it encourages negotiators to reflect on and express their underlying motives and priorities." [added 5/30/11]

Egyptian Muslims protect Coptic Christians - [added 5/30/11]

The Institute for Strategic Dialogue - another think-tank producing reports and research on international conflict [added 12/18/10]

Massage leads to oxytocin in bloodstream which leads to trust - Alert: Before reading the above article, have someone massage your shoulders. I wouldn't lie to you. [added 12/18/10]

Violence is declining - Here is an interesting essay by Steven Pinker in which he argues that despite the constant barrage of violent images and stories the historical record suggests we have become less violent than our ancestors. [added 1/16/10]

Reducing radicalisation and political violence - The mission of The International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation and Political Violence is "to challenge the growth of radicalisation and political violence by bringing together the world's most innovative thinkers from academia, politics and business." Good publications and other resources here. [added 7/17/09]

"Does going to Mecca make Muslims more moderate?" - First, nice alliteration in that headline! Second, I like when naturally occurring random assignment makes such studies possible. [4/17/09]

"Why things cost $19.95" - another interesting recap of research from Wray Herbert's APS blog "We're only human" [added 4/5/08]

Violence in Kenya - The first link is to a news story about the violence in Kenya. Here is a link to an analysis, "Breaking the stalemate in Kenya," which explores how the crisis evolved and how it might be resolved. [added 4/5/08]

"Force and restraint in strategic deterrance" - From a game-theorist's perspective, this report is from the Strategic Studies Institute, U.S. Army War College. [added 3/21/08]

Muslim integration - a series of seven papers addressing issues related to Muslim integration in Europe and the U.S., from the Center for Strategic and International Studies [added 12/9/07]

Top 10 solutions - a report from the 2007 Carnegie International Nonproliferation Conference in which participants identified the top ten solutions to current challenges, including

* Top 3 Upcoming Challenges to the Nonproliferation Regime
* Top 3 Best New Policy Proposals
* Top 4 High Impact Ideas to Implement by 2010 [added 10/19/07]

"Survey: U.S. Muslims assimilated" - "Unlike Muslim minorities in many European countries, U.S. Muslims are highly assimilated, close to parity with other Americans in income and overwhelmingly opposed to Islamic extremism, according to the first major, nationwide random survey of Muslims." [added 7/16/07]

Effects of U.N. peace programs? - a report from The World Bank on the short-term and long-term effects of U.N. peace operations -- conclusion? Very effective in the short-term, but long-term effects dissipate [added 7/14/07]

Cooperation evolved from competition? - an article describing research suggesting that altruism may have arisen from its superiority over selfishness when competing for resources with other groups [added 12/31/06]

Threat of punishment on cooperation - A study reported in Scientific American found that "the threat of penalty is the key to successful cooperation." [added 7/6/06]

Living communities - "Beyond 50: A report to the livable communities: Creating environments for successful aging" from AARP (American Association of Retired People) attempts "to articulate a vision of livable communities for persons of all ages, and particularly for people age 50 and older." [added 9/20/05]

U.S. Institute of Peace - reports and other resources [added 3/20/05]

"The counterterror coalitions: Cooperation with Pakistan and India" - From the Rand Corporation, "the study examines U.S. strategic relations with India and Pakistan both historically and in the current context of the global war on terrorism. An inescapable conclusion of the report is that the intractable dispute over the disposition of Kashmir remains a critical flashpoint between India and Pakistan and a continual security challenge. The author offers five policy options on how the United States might proceed." [added 3/20/05]

Links to peace psychology resources - nice set of links from Scott Plous and the Social Psychology Network on peace, conflict resolution, terrorism and nonviolence [added 12/1/04]

"How social science can reduce terrorism" - Here is an interesting article by Scott Plous and Phil Zimbardo published in The Chronice of Higher Education. A less graphic-intense version can be found here. [added 12/1/04]

Report on racial and ethnic integration in U.S. metropolitan areas - "Living together: A new look at racial and ethnic integration in metropolitan neighborhoods, 1990-2000" is an analysis of census data from the Center on Urban and Metropolitan Policy at The Brookings Institution. [added 6/15/04]

Conflict resolution resources - CRInfo provides an extensive set of links and resources on conflict resolution. Provided by the Conflict Resolution Consortium at the University of Colorado, this site contains well organized sets of links on many related topics, links to current news on the topic, lists of relevant print resources, and advice on how to use these resources for a variety of different audiences. [added 7/23/03]

Stockholm International Peace Research Institute [added 12/06/02]

Carnegie Endowment for International Peace [added 12/06/02]

The Joan B. Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies [added 12/06/02]

"Crime in the Schools: Reducing Conflict with Student Problem Solving" - report from the U.S. Dept. of Justice (1999)

Articles, Books, and Book Chapters (available online)


Sherif, M., Harvey, O. J., White, B. J., Hood, W. R., & Sherif, C. W. (1961). "Intergroup Conflict and Cooperation: The Robbers Cave Experiment". Norman, OK: University of Oklahoma Book Exchange.

Book Chapters

Jost, J.T., Burgess, D., & Mosso, C. (2001). Conflicts of legitimation among self, group, and system: The integrative potential of system justification theory. In J.T. Jost and B. Major (Eds.), The psychology of legitimacy: Emerging perspectives on ideology, justice, and intergroup relations (pp. 363-388). New York: Cambridge University Press.

Van Lange, P. A. M., De Cremer, D., & Van Dijk, E., & Van Vugt, M. (2007). Self-interest and beyond: Basic principles of social interaction. In E.T. Higgins & A. W. Kruglanski (Eds), Social Psychology: Handbook of Basic Principles (pp. 540-561). New York: Guilford.

Van Vugt, M., Biel, A., Snyder, M., & Tyler, T. (2000). Perspectives on cooperation in modern society: Helping the self, community, and society. In M. Van Vugt, M. Snyder, T. Tyler & A. Biel (Eds.), Cooperation in modern society: Promoting the welfare of communities, states, and organisations. London: Routledge.

Van Vugt, M., & De Cremer, D. (2002). Leadership in social dilemmas: Comparing the instrumental and relational perspectives. In M. Hewstone & W. Stroebe (Eds.), European Review of Social Psychology, Vol. 13 (pp. 155-184). Philadelphia: Psychology Press.

Van Vugt, M., Johnson, D., Kaiser, R., & O'Gorman, R. (2008). Evolution and the social psychology of leadership: The mismatch hypothesis. In Hoyt, C., Forsyth, D., & Goethals, A. Social Psychology of Leadership. New York: Praeger Perspectives.

Van Vugt, M., & Kurzban, R. K. (2007). Cognitive and social adaptations for leadership and followership: Evolutionary game theory and group dynamics. In J. Forgas, W. von Hippel, & M. Haselton, Sydney symposium of Social Psychology, Vol. 9: The evolution of the social mind: Evolutionary psychology and social cognition (pp. 229-244). London: Psychology Press.

Van Vugt, M., & Park. J. (2008). The tribal instinct hypothesis: Evolution and the social psychology of intergroup relations. In S. Sturmer & M. Snyder, New Directions in Helping and Intergroup Behavior. London: Blackwell.

Van Vugt, M., Roberts, G., & Hardy, C. (2007). Competitive altruism: Development of reputation-based cooperation in groups. In R. Dunbar & L. Barrett, Handbook of Evolutionary Psychology. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Van Vugt, M., & Van Lange, P. (2006). Psychological adaptations for prosocial behaviour: The altruism puzzle. In M. Schaller, D. Kenrick, & J. Simpson, Evolution and Social Psychology (pp. 237-261). Psychology Press.


Abrahms, M. (2006). Why terrorism does not work. International Security, 31, 42-78.

Baron, J. (1997). Political action vs. voluntarism in social dilemmas and aid for the needy. Rationality and Society, 9, 307-326.

Baron, J. (2001). Confusion of group-interest and self-interest in parochial cooperation on behalf of a group. Journal of Conflict Resolution, 45, 283-296.

Boyd, R., Gintis, H., & Bowles, S. (2010). Coordinated punishment of defectors sustains cooperation and can proliferate when rare. Science, 328, 617-620.

Brembs, B. (1996). Evolution and the prisoner's dilemma. Addressed in Chaos cheating and cooperation: potential solutions to the Prisoner's Dilemma. OIKOS, 76, 14-24.

Buss, D.M., & Duntley, J.D. (2008). Adaptations for exploitation. Group Dynamics: Theory, Research, and Practice, 12, 53-62.

De Cremer, D., & Van Vugt, M. (1999). Social identification effects in social dilemmas: A transformation of motives. European Journal of Social Psychology, 29, 871-893.

De Cremer, D., & Van Vugt, M. (2002). Intergroup and intragroup aspects of leadership in social dilemmas: A relational model of cooperation. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 38, 126-136.

Fowler, J. H., & Christakis, N. A. (2010). Cooperative behavior cascades in human social networks. PNAS, 107, 5334-5338.

Gibbons, R. & Van Boven, L. (2001). Contingent social utility in the Prisoners Dilemma. Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization, 45, 1-17.

Gollwitzer, M., & Denzler, M. (2009). What makes revenge sweet: Seeing the offender suffer or delivering a message? Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 45, 840–844.

Hardy, C., & Van Vugt, M. (2006). Nice guys finish first: The competitive altruism hypothesis. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 32, 1402-1413.

Hart, C. M., & Van Vugt, M (2006). From fault line to group fission: Understanding transformations in small groups. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 32, 392-404.

Heylighen F. (1992). Sociobiology and the prisoner's dilemma. Addressed in Evolution, Selfishness and Cooperation, Journal of Ideas, Vol 2, 4, pp 70-76.

Iredale, W., Van Vugt., M., & Dunbar, R. (2008). Showing off in humans: Male generosity as mate signal. Evolutionary Psychology, 6, 386-392.

Joireman, J. A., van Lange, P. A. M., & van Vugt, M. (2004). Who cares about the environmental impact of cars? Those with an eye toward the future. Environment & Behavior, 35, 1-20.

Jost, J.T., & Burgess, D. (2000). Attitudinal ambivalence and the conflict between group and system justification motives in low status groups. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 26, 293-305.

Kennelly, A. & Fantino, E. (2007). The sharing game: Fairness in resource allocation as a function of incentive, gender, and recipient types. Judgment and Decision Making, 2, 204-216.

Kosfeld, M., Heinrichs, M., Zak, P., Fischbacher, U., & Fehr, E. (2005). Oxytocin increases trust in humans. Nature, 435, 673-676.

Loewenstein, G., & Babcock, L. (1997). Explaining bargaining impasse: the role of self-serving biases. Journal of Economic Perspectives. 11, 109-126.

Lund, O.C.H., Tamnes, C.K., Mouestue, C., Buss, D.M., & Vollrath, M. (2007). Tactics of hierarchy negotiation. Journal of Research in Personality, 42, 25-44.

Nadler, J., Thomspon, L., & Van Boven, L. (2003). Learning negotiation skills: Four models of knowledge creation and transfer. Management Science, 49, 529-540.

O'Gorman, R. O., Henrich, J., & Van Vugt, M.(2008). Constraining free-riding in public goods games: Designated solitary punishers can sustain human cooperation. Proceedings of Royal Society-B, 276, 323-329.

Park, J., Schaller, M., & Van Vugt, M. (2008). The psychology of human kin recognition: Heuristic cues, erroneous inferences, and their implications. Review of General Psychology, 12, 215-235.

Powell, C., & Van Vugt, M. (2003). Genuine giving or selfish sacrifice? The role of commitment and cost level upon willingness to sacrifice. European Journal of Social Psychology, 33, 403-412.

Smith, A. & Varese, F. (2001). Payment, protection and punishment: The role of information and reputation in the Mafia. Rationality and Society, 13, 349–93.

Van Boven, L., Gilovich, T., & Medvec, V. (2003). The illusion of transparency in negotiations. Negotiation Journal, 19, 117-131.

Van Boven, L., & Thompson, L. (2003). A look into the mind of the negotiator: Mental models in negotiation. Group Processes and Interpersonal Relations, 6, 387-404.

Van Lange, P., Bekkers, R., Schuyt, T., & Van Vugt, M. (2007). From games to giving: Social value orientation predicts donations to noble causes. Basic and Applied Social Psychology, 29, 375-384.

Van Vugt, M. (1997). Why the privatisation of public goods might fail: A social dilemma approach. Social Psychology Quarterly, 63, 355-366.

Van Vugt, M. (1998). The conflicts of modern society. The Psychologist, June, 289-292.

Van Vugt, M. (2001). Community identification moderating the impact of financial incentives in a natural social dilemma: A water shortage. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 27, 1440-1449.

Van Vugt, M. (2002). Central, individual or collective control? Social dilemma strategies for natural resource management. American Behavioral Scientist, 45, 783-800.

Van Vugt, M. (2004). Follow the leader... but at what cost? The Psychologist, 17, 274-277.

Van Vugt, M. (2006). The evolutionary origins of leadership and followership. Personality and Social Psychology Review, 10, 354-372.

Van Vugt, M. (2008). Follow me: The origins of leadership. New Scientist, 14 June, 2660.

Van Vugt, M. (2009). Averting the tragedy of the commons: Using social psychological science to protect the environment. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 18, 169-173.

Van Vugt, M., De Cremer, D., & Janssen, D. (2007). Gender differences in cooperation and competition: The male warrior hypothesis. Psychological Science, 18, 19-23.

Van Vugt, M., Dowding, K., John, P., & Van Dijk, E. (2002). Exit or voice? Strategies for problem-solving in residential communities. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 32, 1-20.

Van Vugt, M., & Hardy, C. (2010). Cooperation for reputation: Wasteful contributions as costly signals in public goods. Group Processes and Intergroup Relations, 13, 101-111.

Van Vugt, M., & Hart, C. M. (2004). Social identity as social glue: The origins of group loyalty. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 86, 583-598.

Van Vugt, M., Hogan, R., & Kaiser, R. (2008). Leadership, followership, and evolution: Some lessons from the past. American Psychologist, 63, 182-196.

Van Vugt, M., Jepson, S., Hart, C., & De Cremer, D. (2004) Autocratic leadership in social dilemmas: A threat to group stability. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 40, 1-13.

Van Vugt, M., Meertens, R., & Van Lange, P. (1995). Car versus public transportation? The role of social value orientations in a real-life social dilemma. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 25, 358-378.

Van Vugt, M. and Samuelson, C. D. (1999). The impact of metering in a natural resource crisis: A social dilemma analysis. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 25, 731-745.

Van Vugt, M., & Schaller, M. (2008). Evolutionary perspectives on group dynamics: An introduction. Group Dynamics, 12, 1-6.

Van Vugt, M. & Snyder, M. (2002). Cooperation in the 21st Century: Fostering community action and civic participation. American Behavioral Scientist, 45, 761-918 (Special issue).

Van Vugt, M., & Spisak, B. R. (2008). Sex differences in leadership emergence during competitions within and between groups. Psychological Science, 19, 854-858.

Van Vugt, M., Van Lange, P., & Meertens, R. (1996). Commuting by car or public transportation? A social dilemma analysis of travel mode judgments. European Journal of Social Psychology, 26, 373-395.

Van Vugt, M., Van Lange, P. A. M., Meertens, R. M. and Joireman, J. A. (1996). Why structural solutions to social dilemmas might fail: A field experiment on the first carpool priority lane in Europe. Social Psychology Quarterly, 59, 364-374.

Wegner, D. M., & Crano, W. D. (1975). Racial factors in helping behavior: An unobtrusive field experiment. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 32, 901-905.

Wilson, D. S., Van Vugt, M., & O'Gorman, R. (2008). Multilevel selection theory and major evolutionary transitions: Implications for Psychological Science. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 17, 6-9.



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