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date: 18 April 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Cooperative intergroup relations are essential to the effective functioning of complex organizations and societies. Nevertheless, because it is so embedded in intergroup functioning and undermined by general intergroup biases, intergroup cooperation among members of different groups is much more difficult to achieve and sustain than intragroup cooperation among members of the same group, or even among unacquainted individuals. This chapter considers the antecedents and consequences of intergroup cooperation, emphasizing the reciprocal connections between cooperation and intergroup relations. The authors review the basic dynamics of cooperation and discuss the influences that generally impede cooperation between groups and the factors that can promote intergroup cooperation. They also review how intergroup cooperation can positively transform intergroup relations through two basic and complementary psychological processes: direct functional effects and collective identity. The authors conclude the chapter by integrating these two lines of work conceptually to identify promising questions and directions for future research.

Keywords: contact theory, cooperation, intergroup bias, intergroup relations, prejudice, prosocial behavior, social dilemmas, social identity, superordinate goals

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