Social Traps and Mirror-Image Perceptions
Social conflicts are situations in which people perceive their actions, goals, or ideas to be incompatible. In social traps, two or more individuals engage in mutually destructive behavior by rationally pursuing their own personal interests without regard for the well-being of others. Helping people to agree on regulations, communicate better, and be more aware of responsibilities toward others can foster cooperation and avoid social traps. People in conflict tend to perceive the worst in each other, producing mirror-images of identical demons. The perceptions can become self-fulfilling prophecies, triggering reactions that confirm the images.