Aggressive behaviors and attitudes are investigated first of all from the viewpoint of psychology, sociology, and philosophy. These three disciplines could provide a coherent groundwork for the science on aggression in sport. The science on aggression in sport would be a discipline united by a bond between related issues and a unity of subject, and not by one uniform method. There are two different viewpoints concerning aggression in sport: the cognitive and the ideological. The cognitive viewpoint approaches sports phenomena objectively in order to describe, explain, and compare them—that is, to present the real situation. The ideological viewpoint approaches the subject in an ideological way; that is, it strives for to presenting sport in the most favorable light, while attempting to hide its vices. This viewpoint makes it nearly impossible to diagnose the existing state of affairs, Attitudes towards aggression in sport, while taking into account other criteria, may be divided into the cognitive and the commonsense interpretations. Proponents of the commonsense viewpoint suggest that aggression is a solely negative entity and that it takes place only in the form of emotionally driven aggression meant to do harm. The cognitive interpretation suggests that there exist two forms of aggression in athletic rivalry: emotional aggression aimed at doing harm to an opponent and necessary aggression resulting from the regulations of a given sport. Aggression in sport—considered from the viewpoint of regulations of particular sports—may be either necessary (that is, instrumental) or non-instrumental (that is, potential in the sense that it enables expression of emotions which are not provided for by regulations). Aggressive behavior is necessary when called for by the regulations of a given sport, specifically, among others, combat sports such as boxing, judo, or wrestling. Competitors who avoid fighting and who do not manifest aggressive behaviors in such a field are induced to manifest them and—if this does not bring results—may be punished by referees and, as a last resort, sent off.
Aggression and Anger in Sport and Performance
Aggression: Risk Factors in the Person and the Situation
Aggressive behavior is defined as social behavior carried out with the intention to harm. Violence denotes those forms of aggression that are intended to cause severe physical harm. Aggressive behavior has severe negative consequences for individuals, social groups, and societies as a whole. Therefore, understanding why some individuals are more prone to engaging in aggressive behavior than others and some situational circumstances and social contexts are more likely to elicit aggressive behavior is a critical task. Influential psychological theories of aggression conceptualize aggression as the result of the interplay between variables in the person and the situation. To explain individual differences in aggressive behavior, one line of research has looked at broad personality dimensions, such as self-esteem and narcissism, lack of self-control, and the “Big-Five” personality factors. Evidence shows that high narcissism, low self-control, low openness to experience, conscientiousness, extraversion, and agreeableness, and high neuroticism are linked to a higher propensity to engage in aggressive behavior. Another line of research has focused on more circumscribed, aggression-related personality constructs, demonstrating that individuals who are habitually anger-prone, have a tendency ruminate about anger-eliciting experiences, and show a hostile attributional style in terms of seeing other persons’ behavior as an expression of hostile intent are more likely to show aggressive behavior. On the side of the situation and social environment, several conditions have been identified under which the likelihood of aggressive behavior is increased. Individuals are more likely to show aggressive behavior when they have consumed alcohol, after they have experienced social rejection by others, when aggressive cues, such as weapons, are present in the situation, and when they have access to a firearm. Aggression is also more likely to be shown under conditions of anonymity and high temperature and as a result of regular exposure to depictions of violence in the media. In addition to such “main effects,” there is evidence of an interactive effect of individual and situational characteristics. For example, the impact of exposure to violent media is greater on individuals with a higher disposition to show aggressive behavior, and the effect of alcohol consumption on aggression is greater among people who are habitually prone to engage in angry rumination. Approaches to preventing aggression may build on the evidence on personal and situational differences. For example, anger management trainings may promote better control of angry impulses, focusing on the personal risk factors for aggression, whereas providing role models who show nonaggressive responses in anger-eliciting situations reflects a focus on situational interventions. In conclusion, personality and situational variables need to be considered in combination and interaction to predict when aggressive behavior is likely to occur. Gaining a better understanding of the factors promoting aggressive behavior needs to remain high on the agenda for theory building and empirical research in psychology.
Aging Couples: Benefits and Costs of Long Intimate Relations
Victoria I. Michalowski, Denis Gerstorf, and Christiane A. Hoppmann
Aging does not occur in isolation, but often involves significant others such as spouses. Whether such dyadic associations involve gains or losses depends on a myriad of factors, including the time frame under consideration. What is beneficial in the short term may not be so in the long term, and vice versa. Similarly, what is beneficial for one partner may be costly for the other, or the couple unit over time. Daily dynamics between partners involving emotion processes, health behaviors, and collaborative cognition may accumulate over years to affect the longer-term physical and mental health outcomes of either partner or both partners across adulthood and into old age. Future research should move beyond an individual-focused approach to aging and consider the importance of and interactions among multiple time scales to better understand how, when, and why older spouses shape each other’s aging trajectories, both for better and for worse.
A Historical View on Attitudes and Persuasion
Pablo Briñol, Richard E. Petty, and Joshua J Guyer
The history of attitudes research can be organized into three main sections covering attitude definition and measurement, attitude-behavior relationships, and attitude change. First, an evaluation of the history of attitude measurement reveals three relatively distinct phases: an early phase in which the classic direct self-report procedures were developed, a middle phase focused on “indirect” assessment devices, and a modern phase in which various measures designed to capture people’s automatic or “implicit” attitudes have flourished. Second, the history of attitude-behavior correspondence can be organized also around three broad themes: an early period in which the presumed close association between attitudes and behaviors was largely an article of faith; a middle period in which some researchers concluded that little, if any, relationship existed between measures of attitudes and overt behaviors; and a more recent period in which the resolution of prior issues stimulated an explosion of research focused on identifying the moderators and psychological mechanisms responsible for attitude-behavior correspondence. Finally, the history of research and ideas regarding attitude change and persuasion can be organized around several prominent theories focused on distinct single processes, dual processes, or multiple processes, each of which are still used by contemporary attitudes researchers.
A History of the Concepts of Harmony in Chinese Culture
This historical overview of the concepts of harmony in Chinese culture situates the topic in the ecological context of a strong-ties society that fosters a type of rationality that privileges symmetry over asymmetry. Analysis of the discourse of harmony focuses on the texts of two native schools of thought—Confucianism and Taoism—and briefly mentions Buddhism (a religion imported from India). The modern history of harmony has just begun but is already portentous. The turbulent course of China’s rapid modernization suggests the possibility that as China transitions from a strong-ties society to the weak-ties global market, harmony may be encountering, for the first time, contradictions that defy harmonization. Whatever the future holds for the Chinese legacy of harmony, its contribution to the happiness and well-being of the individuals in their intimate relationship with self and others is likely to remain unchallenged.
Lukas J. Wolf, Geoffrey Haddock, and Gregory R. Maio
“Attitudes” refer to summary evaluations of people, groups, ideas, and other objects, reflecting whether individuals like or dislike them. The study of attitudes takes a central position in social psychology. Decades of research have demonstrated that attitudes are important for understanding how individuals perceive the world and how they behave. One of the key aspects of attitudes is their cognitive, affective, and behavioral content. That is, an individual may associate an attitude object with cognitions or beliefs, emotional reactions, and intentions or past actions. The attitude itself may also have a simple (e.g., positive or negative) structure or a more conflicted, ambivalent (e.g., simultaneously positive and negative) structure; it may serve different psychological functions (e.g., simplification of knowledge, value-expression); and it may vary in strength. Diverse techniques have been developed to measure attitudes, showing that they are useful predictors of behavior and that the strength of this link depends on diverse factors, such as how strongly the attitude is held, the individual’s personality, and the context. Overall, the long history of research on attitudes has supported their considerable theoretical and practical relevance.
Attitudes and Behavior
Geoffrey Haddock, Sapphira Thorne, and Lukas J. Wolf
Attitudes refer to overall evaluations of people, groups, ideas, and other objects, reflecting whether individuals like or dislike them. Attitudes have been found to be good predictors of behavior, with generally medium-sized effects. The role of attitudes in guiding behavior may be the primary reason why people’s social lives often revolve around expressing and discussing their attitudes, and why social psychology researchers have spent decades examining attitudes. Two central questions in the study of attitudes concern when and how attitudes predict behavior. The “when” question has been addressed over decades of research that has identified circumstances under which attitudes are more or less likely to predict behavior. That is, attitudes are stronger predictors of behaviors when both constructs are assessed in a corresponding or matching way, when attitudes are stronger, and among certain individuals and in certain situations and domains. The “how” question concerns influential models in the attitudes literature that provide a better understanding of the processes through which attitudes are linked with behaviors. For instance, these models indicate that other constructs need to be taken into account in understanding the attitude-behavior link, including intentions to perform a behavior, whether individuals perceive themselves to be in control of their behavior, and what they believe others around them think the individual should do (i.e., norms). The models also describe whether attitudes relate to behavior through relatively deliberative and controlled processes or relatively automatic and spontaneous processes. Overall, the long history of research on attitude-behavior links has provided a clearer prediction of when attitudes are linked with behaviors and a better understanding of the processes underlying this link.
Attitudes and Values
Paul H. P. Hanel, Colin Foad, and Gregory R. Maio
Attitudes are people’s likes and dislikes toward anything and anyone that can be evaluated. This can be something as concrete as a mosquito that is tormenting you during the night or as abstract and broad as capitalism or communism. In contrast, human values have been defined as abstract ideals and guiding principles in one’s life and are considered as abstract as well as trans-situational. Thus, while both attitudes and values are important constructs in psychology that are necessarily related, there are also a range of differences between the two. Attitudes are specific judgments toward an object, while values are abstract and trans-situational; attitudes can be positive and negative, while values are mainly positive; and attitudes are less relevant for one’s self-concept than values. A range of studies have investigated how values and attitudes toward specific topics are associated. The rationale for most studies is that people’s values guide whether they like certain people, an object, or an idea. For example, the more people value universalism (e.g., equality, broad-mindedness), the more they support equal rights for groups that are typically disadvantaged. However, these associations can also be complex. If people do not consider an attitude to be a relevant expression of a value, it is less likely that the value predicts this attitude. Further, it can also matter for people’s attitudes whether their values match those of the people in their country, are similar to other social groups (e.g., immigrants), and whether they think their own group’s values are similar or dissimilar to the values of other groups. In sum, the literature shows that the links between values and attitudes are both entrenched and malleable and that these interrelations have many important consequences for understanding social-political divisions and well-being.
Attributing Inferred Causes and Explanations to Behavior
Gordon B. Moskowitz, Irmak Olcaysoy Okten, and Alexandra Sackett
Behavior is a reflection of the intentions, attitudes, goals, beliefs, and desires of a person. These intra-individual factors are coordinated with what opportunities the situation affords and the perceived constraints placed on the person by their context and the norms of the culture they are in. Further, the intentions, attitudes, goals, beliefs, and desires of a person are often not known to them in any given moment, and because they reside within the mind of that person they are almost always not known to the people who are perceiving that person. To know anything about other people we must observe and identify/classify their behavior and then attribute to the observed behavior inferences and judgments about the internal states of that person serving as the motivating force behind their behavior. This entry explores this process of attribution. Heider described attribution as the process that determines “how one person thinks and feels about another person, how he perceives him and what he does to him, what he expects him to do or think, how he reacts to the actions of the other.” The entry explores the rules that people follow in order to make sense of behavior, and the rational versus non-rational nature of the procedure. Even when highly motivated to think rationally, this process can be biased, and flaws can appear in the attribution process, such as from chronic differences among perceivers due to culture, experience, or personality. How the process would unfold if accurate and purely rational is contrasted with how it unfolds when biased. How we feel, and how we choose to act, are derived from how we make sense of the world. Thus, attribution processes are foundational for understanding how we feel, for establishing expectations, and planning how to act in turn.
Bullying and Harassment in the Workplace
Ståle Valvatne Einarsen and Kari Wik Ågotnes
Workplace bullying and harassment is prevalent in contemporary workplaces with detrimental negative outcomes for targets as well as for bystanders and the organization itself. At any one time, some 3%–20% of the working population is targeted, suffering reduced motivation and productivity, severe mental and physical health problems, and a risk of exclusion from the organization and even working life altogether. Bullying and harassment is about the systematic and ongoing mistreatment of an employee by other organization members, mostly of a psychological and social nature and often involving a gradually escalating process that may end in severe victimization of those targeted if not properly managed and handled in its early phases. In early phases, by some denoted incivility, the behaviors involved are often subtle, indirect, and discrete, while in later phases they become ever more prevalent and direct—even involving threats and open verbal abuse. Bullying may involve work-related behaviors creating a difficult and even dangerous working situation for the target, personally demeaning behavior, acts of social exclusion and non-inclusion, and physically intimidation behaviors. Hence, bullying comes in many shades and forms, as well as at many levels of intensity. Although risk factors and antecedents of this complex problem may be found on many levels, factors in the immediate working environment and the design and management of work are particularly important. Furthermore, bullying is particularly prevalent in working environments characterized by a hostile working climate and in organizations where such behaviors are permitted or even rewarded.
Steve A. Nida
The brutal 1964 murder of Kitty Genovese sparked widespread public interest, primarily because it was reported to have taken place in view of some 38 witnesses, most of whom had seen the incident through the windows of their apartments in a high-rise building directly across the street. (Investigative work conducted some 50 years later suggests that there were not that many actual witnesses—more likely as few as seven or eight.) The ensuing analyses provided by newspaper columnists and others tended to focus on the callous indifference that had been demonstrated by those who had chosen not to intervene in the emergency, a state of affairs that came to be known, at least for a while, as “bystander apathy.” (It soon became clear, however, that bystanders in such events are rarely apathetic or indifferent.) Intrigued by the internal and interpersonal dynamics that might be involved, two social psychologists, Bibb Latané and John Darley, began a program of research that led to the conclusion that any notion of “safety in numbers” is illusory. In fact, it is the very presence of other people that may discourage helping in such circumstances. More specifically, other unresponsive bystanders may provide cues suggesting that the event is not serious and that inaction is the appropriate response. In addition, knowing that others are available to help allows the individual bystander to shift some of the responsibility for intervening to the others present, a process that Latané and Darley termed “diffusion of responsibility”; that is, the greater the number of others present, the easier it is for any one individual to assume that someone else will help. Subsequent research has demonstrated that this tendency for the individual to be less likely to help when part of a group than when alone—now known as the “bystander effect”—is a remarkably robust phenomenon. Even though social psychology has developed a thorough understanding of the mechanisms that drive this phenomenon, applying this knowledge is difficult, and significant incidents involving the bystander effect continue to occur.
Ahogni N'gbala and Denis Hilton
Attribution theory is an area of research in social psychology, which deals with how people perceive and interpret the causes of their own and others’ behavior. Attributional theory deals with how the observer’s causal perceptions and interpretations guide his/her own subsequent behavior. In recent years, work in the area has been broadened to include new theoretical models concerned with the explanation of intentional behaviors and responsibility, and blame assignment, along with counterfactual thinking, where mental simulations of changes in the causal structure of events have been shown to affect emotional reactions. As such attribution(al) theory overlaps with research in cognitive, developmental, and moral psychology, and its concepts have been applied to a wide variety of domains such as clinical psychology, marketing, and organizational behavior.
Cognitive Consistency in Social Cognition
Skylar M. Brannon and Bertram Gawronski
The desire to maintain consistency between cognitions has been recognized by many psychologists as an important human motive. Research on this topic has been highly influential in a variety of areas of social cognition, including attitudes, person perception, prejudice and stereotyping, and self-evaluation. In his seminal work on cognitive dissonance, Leon Festinger noted that inconsistencies between cognitions result in negative affect. Further, he argued that the motivation to maintain consistency is a basic motive that is intrinsically important. Subsequent theorists posed revisions to Festinger’s original theory, suggesting that consistency is only important to the extent that it allows one to maintain a desired self-view or to communicate traits to others. According to these theorists, the motivation to maintain consistency serves as a means toward a superordinate motive, not as an end in itself. Building on this argument, more recent perspectives suggest that consistency is important for the execution of context-appropriate action and the acquisition and validation of knowledge. Several important lines of research grew out of the idea that cognitive consistency plays a central role in social information processing. One dominant line of research has aimed toward understanding how people deal with inconsistencies between their attitudes and their behaviors. Other research has investigated how individuals maintain their beliefs either by (1) avoiding exposure to contradictory information or (2) engaging in cognitive processes aimed toward reconciling an inconsistency after being exposed to contradictory information. Cognitive consistency perspectives have also been leveraged to understand (1) the conditions under which explicit and implicit evaluations correlate with one another, (2) when change in one type of evaluation corresponds with change in the other, and (3) the roles of distinct types of consistency principles underlying explicit and implicit evaluations. Expanding on these works, newer lines of research have provided important revisions and extensions to early research on cognitive consistency, focusing on (1) the identification of inconsistency, (2) the elicitation of negative affect in response to inconsistency, and (3) behavioral responses aimed to restore inconsistency or mitigate the negative feelings arising from inconsistency. For example, some research has suggested that, instead of following the rules of formal logic, perceptions of (in)consistency are driven by “psycho-logic” in that individuals may perceive inconsistency when there is logical consistency, and vice versa. Further, reconciling conflicting research on the affective responses to inconsistency, recent work suggests that all inconsistencies first elicit negative affect, but immediate affective reactions may change in line with the hedonic experience of the event when an individual has time to make sense of the inconsistency. Finally, new frameworks have been proposed to unite a broad range of phenomena under one unifying umbrella, using the concept of cognitive consistency as a common denominator.
Dissonance and Attitude Change
Jeff Stone and John J. Taylor
Cognitive dissonance theory (CDT) was first introduced by Leon Festinger. Cognitive dissonance is the process by which people detect an inconsistency between cognitions, such as attitudes, beliefs, and behavior. When individuals become aware of an inconsistency between cognitions, they experience a state of psychological discomfort that motivates them to restore consistency. Factors such as the importance of the cognitions and the magnitude of the discomfort play a role in determining how people restore consistency. Festinger described three primary ways people can reduce dissonance: change a cognition; add new cognitions; or change the importance of the inconsistent cognitions. Many early studies showed that when people are unable to change their behavior, they will change their attitudes to be more in line with the inconsistent behavior. Over the years, CDT has undergone many challenges and revisions. Some revisions focus on the importance of cognitions about the self in the processes by which dissonance motivates attitude change. Others focused on the consequences of the behavior and various cognitive mechanisms that underlie the experience of dissonance. In the early 21st century, research has examined the underlying motivation for dissonance-induced attitude and behavior change, and how people prefer to reduce dissonance once it is present. And, as with the entire field of social psychology, dissonance researchers are also raising concerns about the replicability of classic dissonance effects and focusing their attention on the need to improve the methods the field uses to test predictions going forward.
Collective Mobilization and Social Protest
Martijn van Zomeren
The social psychology of collective mobilization and social protest reflects a long-standing interest within this discipline in the larger question of how social change comes about through the exercise of collective agency. Yet, within this very same discipline, different approaches have suggested different motivations for why people protest, including emotional, agentic, identity, and moral motivations. Although each of these approaches first tended toward development of insulated models or theories, the next phase has been more integrative in nature, giving rise to multi-motive models of collective mobilization and social protest that combined predictions from different approaches, which improved their explanatory power and theoretical scope. Together with this first development toward integration, a second development has also clearly left its mark on the field. This development refers to the rapid internationalization of the field, with studies on collective mobilization and social protest being conducted across the world, leading to very diverse participant samples and contextual characteristics. These studies typically also vary methodologically, including survey, experiment, interview, longitudinal, and other methods. This second trend—toward diversity—fits well with the first integrative trend and will lead to more in-depth and integrative understanding of the social-psychological workings of collective mobilization and social protest. However, this will require innovative conceptual and empirical work in order to map the structural (particularly, political and cultural) conditions under which different motivations matter with respect to mobilization and protest.
Communication and Intergroup Relations
The subfield of communication and intergroup relations attempts to disentangle the ways in which human message exchange is influenced by, and itself affects, relations between social groups. Typically, the social groups considered are large scale groups (e.g., national, religious, ethnic groups), but similar processes can also be applied to smaller groups such as families or work groups. Specifically, the field of communication and intergroup relations considers how social interaction is changed when the interlocutors belong to (or perceive themselves as belonging to) specific social groups, and how everyday talk about groups changes perceptions and attitudes concerning those groups. The subfield also considers how broader societal messages relate to group memberships. For instance, how do media messages reflect the macrosocial position of particular groups, and do media messages influence how consumers think about group memberships and intergroup relations? Underpinning all study of intergroup communication is the belief that intergroup relations are forged, perpetuated, and modified in real-life everyday social communication.
Compliance and Social Psychology
Chad R. Mortensen and Robert B. Cialdini
It is through the influence process that people generate and manage change. As such, it is important to understand fully the workings of the influence processes that produce compliance with requests for change. Fortunately, a vast body of scientific evidence exists on how, when, and why people comply with influence attempts. From this formidable body of work, one can extract six universal principles of influence that generate compliance in the widest range of circumstances. Reciprocation states that people are more willing to comply with requests (for favors, services, information, concessions, etc.) from those who have provided such things first. Commitment/Consistency states that people are more willing to be moved in a particular direction if they see it as consistent with an existing commitment. Authority states that people are more willing to follow the directions or recommendations of a communicator to whom they attribute relevant expertise. Social Proof states that people are more willing to take a recommended action if they see evidence that many others, especially similar others, are taking it. Scarcity states that people find objects and opportunities more attractive to the degree that they are scarce, rare, or dwindling in availability. Finally, Liking states that people prefer to say yes to those they like, such as those who are similar to them and who have complimented them.
Patricia Elgoibar, Martin Euwema, and Lourdes Munduate
Conflicts are part of nature and certainly part of human relations, between individuals, as well as within and between groups. Conflicts occur in every domain of life: family, work, and society, local and global. Conflict management, therefore, is an essential competency for each person. People differ largely in their emotional and behavioral responses to conflict and need to learn how to behave effectively in different conflict situations. This requires a contingency approach, first assessing the conflict situation, and then choosing a strategy, matching the goals of the party. In most situations, fostering cooperative relations will be most beneficial; however, this is also most challenging. Therefore, constructive conflict management strategies, including trust building and methods of constructive controversy, are emphasized. Conflict management, however, is broader than the interaction of the conflicting parties. Third-party interventions are an essential element of constructive conflict management, particularly the assessment of which parties are intervening in what ways at what escalation stage.
Conservation and the Environment
Adam R. Pearson and Matthew T. Ballew
Environmental sustainability, the long-term management and protection of earth’s resources and ecosystems, is increasingly recognized as a societal challenge shaped by human behavior at every level of social interaction, from neighborhoods to nations. Psychological perspectives on conservation, which have traditionally emphasized individual determinants of proenvironmental behavior (e.g., personal environmental concern), have begun to incorporate a more nuanced picture of the ways in which both individual and group-level processes can influence conservation efforts. In particular, research on social norms and identity-based influences suggests that social perceptions, such as beliefs about what actions are common and socially valued, can be more powerful drivers of conservation behavior than monetary incentives, proenvironmental appeals, or the ease of proenvironmental actions. Additional research has begun to incorporate cross-cultural perspectives and insights from diversity science and intervention science to better understand how different cultural orientations and social identity processes, such as those related to race, ethnicity, and social class, impact environmental decision-making. A new class of “wise” interventions that target psychological mechanisms that shape conservation behavior, such as interventions that incorporate normative feedback, target public behavior, or seek to alter daily routines during major life transitions, have proven especially effective at promoting sustained behavior change. Generally, behavioral interventions are more effective at promoting conservation behavior when they are tailored to the social context in which behavior occurs.
Cooperation and Competition Between Groups
Craig D. Parks
Just as individuals must often work together, or against each other, to realize desired outcomes or avoid unpleasant outcomes, so too must groups sometimes collaborate or oppose each other. While individual-level interaction is typically characterized by some degree of cooperation—in fact, it is rare and notable when an individual is encountered who absolutely refuses to ever do anything in collaboration with anyone else—group-level interaction is often more combative, and it is not unusual for intergroup interaction to be hostile, sometimes in the extreme. Wars do not originate from one person disliking another person. At a more everyday level, subgroups typically need to combine efforts in the service of a larger, complex product, but often this combination occurs in a suboptimal manner. As well, merger processes are increasingly causing formerly competitive groups to be placed on the same side and required to work together. These mergers are often a challenge. This tendency for group-level interaction to be less cooperative than individual-level interaction can be explained from evolutionary and social-interactive perspectives. The evolutionary approach argues that group-level hostility is a relic from a time when basic resources (food, shelter) were hard to acquire. Providing for kin on a daily basis was a challenge, and the fact that other groups were trying to access the same resources added to the difficulty. Thus, non-kin groups presented a continual threat to the well-being of one’s lineage, and there would be survival value in being quick to oppose, and perhaps eliminate, such groups. From a social interaction perspective, hostile group-level interaction is sometimes a function of learned expectations that groups are competitive with each other; sometimes driven by the anonymity afforded by the group setting, in a manner similar to diffusion of responsibility; sometimes the result of a type of egging-on process, in that the individual who harbors thoughts of lashing out against another person has no one to validate the plan, but a group member who proposes such action can get validation; and sometimes the result of a perceived threat to one’s social identity, in that the outgroup may induce questions about the propriety of one’s belief system and overall way of life. Matters get more complicated if the groups have a history of conflict, opposition, or dislike. Resolving intergroup conflict is difficult, harder than resolving interindividual conflict, and the likelihood of resolution decreases as the severity of the conflict increases. Third parties can help, as can induction of a superordinate identity (“we are all in this together”) and changing how outgroup members are perceived, but how to successfully implement these strategies is not well understood. However, groups that are motivated to work together can and do form strong, durable alliances. (Ironically, good examples of such alliances sometimes come from groups that we would rather not cooperate with each other, like terrorist organizations.) Thus, while intergroup interaction does tend to be negative, this is not a permanent state of affairs, especially if the groups themselves see value in working together.