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social trap

a situation in which the conflicting parties, by each rationally pursuing its self-interest, become caught in mutually destructive behavior

Tragedy of the Commons

occurs when individuals consume more than their share, with the cost of their doing so dispersed among all, causing the ultimate collapse

non-zero-sum games

outcomes need not sum to zero. with cooperation, both can win; with competition, both can lose

mirror-image perceptions

reciprocal views of each other often held by parties in conflict; each may view itself as moral and peace-loving and the other as evil and aggressive

equal-status contact

to reduce prujudice, interracial (for example) contact should be between persons equal in status

superordinate goal

a shared goal that necessitates cooperative effort; a goal that overrides people's differences from one another


seeking an agreement to a conflict through direct negotiation between parties


an attempt by a neutral third party to resolve a conflict by facilitating communication and offering suggestions


resolution of a conflict by a neutral third party who studies both sides and imposes a settlement

integrative agreements

win-win agreements that reconcile both parties' interests to their mutual benefit


a strategy designed to descalate international tensions (itiatives in tension reduction)

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