Culture and the Contagion of Conflict: Social Science and Computational Approaches
Final rept. 15 Nov 2011-14 May 2015
MARYLAND UNIV COLLEGE PARK DEPT OF PSYCHOLOGY
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We witness on a daily basis conflicts which spread from individuals quickly across groups, from the highly publicized incident that occurred when the Danish daily newspaper Jyllands-Postan published an article entitled Muhammeds ansigt which led to hundreds of protests and an escalation of violence, to the spread of conflict in Rwanda that caused the death of 800,000 individuals. This grant combined the use of social science and computational modeling techniques to illuminate the evolution of conflict contagion . We theorized that collectivism is a key driver of conflict contagion across social networks and across time through its impact on ingroup and outgroup entitativity. Our laboratory, field, and computational research showed strong support for the theory and illuminated important new scientific and practical insights. Our work was featured in top tier scientific outlets such as the Proceedings of the Royal Society B, Journal of Applied Psychology, Psychological Science, and Journal of Experimental Psychology, among others. A workshop on cultural evolution and conflict conducted through the grant has resulted in a new society for the study of cultural evolution which now has over 1000 members from many scientific disciplines.
- Sociology and Law
- Operations Research