Ph.D. Course: Cooperation and Competition


Course Overview and Objectives

Cooperation and competition are fundamental aspects of social life. This course draws on literatures in social psychology and OB related to this basic tension.

You will learn about the origins of cooperation and competition (Session 1), and about evolutionary psychology as a theoretical lens through which to understand cooperation and competition (Session 2). Subsequent sessions address causes and consequences of cooperation and competition when we discuss trust & fairness (Session 3), and power & status (Session 4). Finally, we discuss how micromotives can result in intergroup conflict (Session 5), how and why conflict escalates (Session 6), and how it can be resolved (Sessions 6 & 7).

The course is intended to help you understand and analyse existing research and to develop your own research ideas.

Requirements and Grading 

Grades will be assigned based on the following three requirements:

1) Class participation and discussion leading (30%)

a. You will lead and direct some of the weekly sessions. As a discussion leader you should prepare questions to facilitate class discussions along the following guidelines: what are strengths and weaknesses of each paper? What do the papers contribute and how do they relate to each other? Which theoretical assumptions do they build on?
b. You are expected actively participate in each session, so you should read each paper and be prepared to ask and answer questions.

2) Weekly reaction paper / critique (30%)
a. Your reaction paper can simply criticize a paper (focusing on theoretical weaknesses, alternative explanations, methodological issues), but it could also discuss assumptions challenged by one of the papers, or outline a research idea the papers triggered.
The only requirements are that your reaction paper is a thoughtful response to the week’s readings and that it is between 1-2 pages long. Email your reaction paper to me at 14.00 (FBL time) the day before the class. You don’t need to write a reaction paper if you’re leading the class discussion.

3) Final paper and presentation (40%)

a. The final paper is an opportunity to develop one of your research ideas further. This should be a “new” project that you have not already worked on in another class and should be somewhat related to the concepts covered in class. Ideally, you can start collecting data for this project at the end of the class. To achieve this goal, you should

  • write an introduction as if you were submitting the paper to a journal (6-10 pages double-spaced),

  • write a methods section that describes the empirical design of your study/studies in detail, as if you were submitting the paper to a journal,

  • write a brief discussion section that discusses your hypothetical results, as if you were submitting the paper to a journal (3-6 pages double-spaced).

b. As a scientist you need to communicate your ideas not only in writing but also orally to others. In the second half of the final class you will present your research idea to the class.

c. I will give you extensive feedback on both your paper and your research presentation. You should contact me so we can discuss any questions you might have about either your paper or your research presentation.

Session 1: Origins of Cooperation and Competition

1. Deutsch, M. (2000). Cooperation and competition. In M. Deutsch & P. T. Coleman (Eds.), The handbook of conflict resolution: Theory and practice (pp. 21-40). San Francisco: Jossey-Bas Publishers.
2. Axelrod, R., & Hamilton, W. D. (1981). The evolution of cooperation. Science, 211(4489), 1390–1396.
3. de Dreu, C. K. W. (2010). Social conflict: The emergence and consequences of struggle and negotiation. In S. T. Fiske, D. T. Gilbert, & H. Lindzey (Eds.), Handbook of social psychology (2nd ed., pp. 983–1023). New York: Wiley.
4. Van Lange, P. A. M., Joireman, J., Parks, C. D., & van Dijk, E. (2013). The psychology of social dilemmas: A review. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 120(2), 125–141.
5. Pruitt, D. G., & Carnevale, P. J. (1993). The dual concern model and the determinants of problem solving. In Negotiation in social conflict. Maidenhead, UK: Open University Press.

Optional readings:
1. Axelrod, R. (2012). Launching “The evolution of cooperation.” Journal of Theoretical Biology, 299(C), 21–24.

Session 2: Evolutionary Perspectives – A Theoretical Framework to Understand the Origins of Cooperation & Competition

Evolution of cooperation:
1. Tooby, J., & Cosmides, L. (2005). Conceptual foundations of evolutionary psychology. In D. M. Buss (Ed.), Handbook of evolutionary psychology (pp. 5–67). Hoboken, NJ: Wiley & Sons.
2. Nowak, M. A. (2012). Evolving cooperation. Journal of Theoretical Biology, 299(C), 1–8.
3. Cosmides, L., & Tooby, J. (1992). Cognitive adaptations for social exchange. In J. Barkow, L. Cosmides, & J. Tooby (Eds.), The adapted mind (pp. 163–228). New York: Oxford University Press.
4. Brown, M. W., & Moore, C. (2000). Is prospective altruist-detection an evolved solution to the adaptive problem of subtle cheating in cooperative ventures? Supportive evidence using theWason selection task. Evolution and Human Behavior, 21, 25–37.

Evolution of competition and aggression:
5. Buss, D. M., & Duntley, J. D. (1997). The evolution of aggression. In M. Schaller, J. A. Simpson, & D. T. Kenrick (Eds.), Evolution and social psychology (pp. 263–285). New York: Psychology Press.
6. Wilson, M., & Daly, M. (1985). Competitiveness, risk-taking, and violence: The young male syndrom. Ethology and Sociobiology, 6, 59–73.

Optional Readings:
1. Cosmides, L. (1989). The logic of social exchange: Has natural selection shaped how humans reason? Studies with the Wason selection task. Cognition, 31, 187–276.

Session 3: Trust & Fairness

Theoretical perspectives:
1. Kramer, R. (1999). Trust and distrust in organizations: Emerging perspectives, enduring questions. Annual Review of Psychology, 50, 569–598.
2. Tyler, T. R. (2003). Social justice. In R. P. Brown & S. L. Gartner (Eds.), Blackwell handbook of social psychology: Intergroup processes (pp. 344–364). Hoboken, NJ: Wiley-Blackwell.

Empirical applications:
3. Brockner, J., Siegel, P., Daly, J., Tyler, T., & Martin, C. (1997). When trust matters: The moderating effect of outcome favorability. Administrative Science Quarterly, 42(3), 558–583.
4. Pillutla, M. (2003). Attributions of trust and the calculus of reciprocity. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 39(5), 448–455.
5. Van Dijk, E., De Cremer, D., & Handgraaf, M.J.J. (2004). Social value orientations and the strategic use of fairness in ultimatum bargaining. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 40, 697 – 707.
6. Ferrin, D. L., Bligh, M. C., & Kohles, J. C. (2008). It takes two to tango: An interdependence analysis of the spiraling of perceived trustworthiness and cooperation in interpersonal and intergroup relationships. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 107(2), 161–178.

Optional readings:
1. Dunn, J., Ruedy, N. E., & Schweitzer, M. E. (2012). It hurts both ways: How social comparisons harm affective and cognitive trust. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 117(1), 2–14.
2. Kramer, R. M., & Lewicki, R. J. (2010). Repairing and Enhancing Trust: Approaches to Reducing Organizational Trust Deficits. The Academy of Management Annals, 4(1), 245–277.

Session 4: Power & Status

Theoretical perspectives:
1. French, J. R. P. Jr., & Raven, B. (1959). The bases of power. In D. P. Cartwright (Ed.), Studies in social power (pp. 150-167). Ann Arbor, MI: Institute for Social Research, The University of Michigan.
2. Cummins, D. (2007). Dominance, status, and social hierarchies. In D. M. Buss (Ed.), The handbook of evolutionary psychology (pp. 676–697). Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.
3. Magee, J. C., & Galinsky, A. D. (2008). Social hierarchy: The self-reinforcing nature of power and status. Academy of Management Annals, 2: 351 – 398.

Empirical applications:
4. Anderson, C., & Berdahl, J. L. (2002). The experience of power: Examining the effects of power on approach and inhibition tendencies. Journal of Personality & Social Psychology, 83: 1362-1377.
5. Anderson, C., Srivastava, S., Beer, J. S., Spataro, S. E., & Chatman, J. A. (2006). Knowing your place: Self-perceptions of status in face-to-face groups. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 91(6), 1094–1110.
6. Abbott, A. (1981). Status and status strain in the professions. American Journal of Sociology, 819–835.

Optional readings:
1. Ridgeway, C. L. (2008). Social status and group structure. In M. A. Hogg & R. S. Tindale (Eds.), Blackwell Handbook of Social Psychology: Group Processes (pp. 352–375). Hoboken, NJ: Wiley-Blackwell.
2. Sauder, M., Lynn, F., & Podolny, J. M. (2012). Status: Insights from organizational sociology. Annual Review of Sociology, 38(1), 267–283.
3. Bothner, M. S., Kim, Y. K., & Smith, E. B. (2012). How does status affect performance? Status as an asset vs. status as a liability in the PGA and NASCAR. Organization Science, 23(2), 416–433.
4. Blader, S., & Chen, Y.-R. (2012). Differentiating the effects of status and power: A justice perspective. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 102(5), 994–1014.
5. Keltner, D., Gruenfeld, D. H., & Anderson, C. (2003). Power, approach, and inhibition. Psychological Review, 110(2), 265–284.
6. Anderson, C., John, O., Keltner, D., & Kring, A. (2001). Who attains social status? Effects of personality and physical attractiveness in social groups. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 81(1), 116–132.
7. Côté, S. (2011). How social class shapes thoughts and actions in organizations. Research in Organizational Behavior, 31, 43–71.
8. Veblen, T. (1899). The theory of the leisure class: An economic study of institutions. London, UK: Unwin Books.

Session 5: Intergroup Level Conflict

How micromotives lead to intergroup level conflicts:
1. Schelling, T. C. (1969). Models of segregation. The American Economic Review, 59(2), 488–493.
2. Stoner, J. A. F. (1968). Risky and cautious shifts in group decisions: The influence of widely held values. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 4, 442-459.

Theoretical perspectives:
3. Tajfel, H., & Turner, J. (1979). An integrative theory of intergroup conflict. In S. Worchel & W. G. Austin (Eds.), The social psychology of intergroup relations (pp. 33–48). Monterey, CA: Brooks/Cole.

Empirical applications:
4. Tajfel, H. (1970). Experiments in intergroup discrimination. Scientific American, 223(5), 96–102.
5. Sherif, M. (1958). Superordinate goals in the reduction of intergroup conflict. The American Journal of Sociology, 63(4), 349–456.

Session 6: Understanding Conflict Escalation and Resolution

Theoretical perspectives:
1. Deutsch, M., & Shichman, S. (2008). Conflict: A social psychological perspective (pp. 1–32).
2. Halevy, N., Chou, E. Y., & Murnighan, J. K. (2011). Mind games: The mental representation of conflict. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.
Empirical applications:
3. Kennedy, K., & Pronin, E. (2008). When disagreement gets ugly: Perceptions of bias and the escalation of conflict. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 34(6), 833.
4. de Dreu, C. K. W., Greer, L. L., Handgraaf, M. J. J., Shalvi, S., van Kleef, G. A., Baas, M., et al. (2010). The Neuropeptide Oxytocin Regulates Parochial Altruism in Intergroup Conflict Among Humans. Science, 328(5984), 1408–1411.

Resolving conflict – Negotiations 1:
5. Thompson, L. L., Wang, J., & Gunia, B. C. (2010). Negotiation. Annual Review of Psychology, 61(1), 491–515.
6. De Dreu, C.K.W., Beersma, B., Steinel, W., & Van Kleef, G.A. (2007). The psychology of negotiation: Principles and basic processes. In A.W. Kruglanski & E.T. Higgins (Eds.), Handbook of basic principles in social psychology. New York: Guilford

Optional readings:
1. Steinel, W., de Dreu, C. K. W., Ouwehand, E., & Ramírez-Marín, J. Y. (2009). When constituencies speak in multiple tongues: The relative persuasiveness of hawkish minorities in representative negotiation. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 109(1), 67–78.

Session 7: Negotiations & Student Presentations

1st half – Creating and claiming value (Negotiations 2):
1. De Dreu, C. K. W., Koole, S., & Steinel, W. (2000). Unfixing the fixed pie: A motivated information-processing approach to integrative negotiation. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 79(6), 975–987.
2. Northcraft, G. B., & Neale, M. A. (1987). Experts, amateurs, and real estate: An anchoring-and-adjustment perspective on property pricing decisions. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 39(1), 84–97.
3. Curhan, J., Elfenbein, H., & Xu, H. (2006). What do people value when they negotiate? Mapping the domain of subjective value in negotiation. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 91(3), 493.
4. Brooks, A. W., & Schweitzer, M. E. (2011). Can Nervous Nelly negotiate? How anxiety causes negotiators to make low first offers, exit early, and earn less profit. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 115(1), 43–54.

2nd half – Student presentations



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