WU Course 3

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Published on April 17, 2008

Author: Pasquale

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Factors Influencing the Course of Conflict:  Factors Influencing the Course of Conflict The interdependence of the parties The individual differences of the parties The issues The social-cultural context Conditions and processes involved in the perpetuation and escalation of conflict Conflict Escalation...:  Conflict Escalation... Experience is more intense. The number, size & centrality of issues increases. The number of parties increases. Tactics shift from light to heavy. Motivations shift from doing well to winning to beating the other. Basic Escalation Scenario:  Basic Escalation Scenario When incompatible activities perceived as negative, motivation to retaliate increases. Defined as an increase in the felt intensity of a conflict or the use of heavier tactics by one or more of the participants than had been used previously in the conflict. Facilitating & constraining conditions. Reciprocation – escalatory spirals (unilateral, bilateral, multilateral) Intensification; broadening scope, heavier tactics, more participants. Group Exercise:  Group Exercise Identify & discuss the conditions and processes which contributed to the escalation and maintenance of the conflict from Love in the Time of Cholera. Why did it go up? How did it go up? Why did it not go further? Key Psychological Elements in the Escalation of Conflict:  Key Psychological Elements in the Escalation of Conflict escalation scripts integrative complexity Need for power Need for closure a win-lose competitive orientation inner conflicts cognitive rigidity misjudgments and misperceptions unwitting commitments (entrapment) self-fulfilling prophecies a gamesmanship orientation Key Situational Elements in the Escalation of Conflict:  Key Situational Elements in the Escalation of Conflict ambiguity about relative power anarchic or unstable social situation groups versus individuals segmentary social structures vicious escalating spirals autistic hostility change: periods of rapidly expanding achievement (relative deprivation) internal, group, community changes Transformations…:  Transformations… Psychological Changes: Motives Cognitions Affect Behaviors Social & Group Changes: Communications Collective identities & ingroup sanctioning Militant subgroups & leaders Runaway norms Community: Polarization Segmentary structures Economic investment Maintenance Mechanisms:  Maintenance Mechanisms Psychological: Selective perception Cognitive rigidity Dysphoric rumination Social: Self-fulfilling prophesies Violence Trauma & coping Culture of honor Community: Socialization (parenting, education, media) Entrapment Control of dissent Stage Model of Conflict Escalation (Fisher & Keashley, 1990):  Stage Model of Conflict Escalation (Fisher & Keashley, 1990) Shifts from objective to subjective Changes in: communications perceptions issues perceived outcomes conflict management STAGE I: Discussion:  STAGE I: Discussion direct communications accurate perceptions trusting, respectful & committed relations issues = substantive interests possibility for joint gain through mutual decision-making STAGE II: Polarization:  STAGE II: Polarization indirect communication more action oriented stereotypes ensue stable relations issues = relationships outcomes reduced to the potential for compromise through consultation or mediation STAGE III: Segregation:  STAGE III: Segregation little direct communication threats ensue other perceived as evil distrustful and disrespectful relations issues = basic needs outcomes = zero-sum process= defensive competition STAGE IV: Destruction:  STAGE IV: Destruction non-existent communication direct attacks other viewed as non-human relations seen as hopeless issues = survival needs outcomes = lose/lose, with a desire to inflict as much hurt on other as possible Escalated Conflict Interventions (Fisher & Keashley, 1990):  Escalated Conflict Interventions (Fisher & Keashley, 1990) Destruction peacekeeping development aid arbitration/mediation Segregation arbitration/mediation consultation Polarization consultation mediation Discussion conciliation negotiation Are they with us or against us? The effects of need for closure on conflict orientations and catastrophic escalatory dynamics.:  Are they with us or against us? The effects of need for closure on conflict orientations and catastrophic escalatory dynamics. Peter T. Coleman Rae Yunzi Tan Lan Bui-Wrzosinska Catastrophic Violence:  Catastrophic Violence In Rwanda in 1994, the world witnessed a dramatic outbreak of genocidal violence where almost one million people were killed in 100 days. This eruption of violence followed years of more gradual increases in inter-ethnic hostilities between Tutsis and Hutus in the region (Smith, 1998). Why do some conflicts show a severe escalatory jump in their intensity, while others evidence a more orderly, incremental progression? Research on conflict and violence has made important advances in identifying the conditions which foster destructive processes (Bandura, 1982; Bar-Tal, 2000; Berkowitz, 1993; Deutsch, 1973; Eidelson & Eidelson, 2003; Gurr, 2000; Opotow, 1990) and escalation (Fisher, 1991; Mikolic, Parker, and Pruitt, 1997; Pruitt, 2005, see Pruitt & Kim, 2004 for a summary). However, little is known of the conditions and processes involved in fostering catastrophic versus incremental increases of intensity in conflict (Pruitt, 2006). Slide17:  Incremental escalation Catastrophic escalation The DST Approach to Escalation:  The DST Approach to Escalation Most conflict systems are multi-dimensional: conflict may exist on some dimensions but not others. Feedback loops operate within related dimensions. In high-complexity systems, positive feedback is confined to separate sets of dimensions, and thus they will respond to provocation from others proportionally. In low-complexity systems, all the dimensions are linked, so conflict on any one dimension will spill over to others. Here there are two attractors: one for no conflict (agreement on all issues) and another for intense conflict (disagreement on all issues). Movement between the two can be rapid and dramatic. Q: What determines whether a conflict situation is complex (multi-dimensional) versus simple (low-dimensional)? Need for Closure: Individual Differences in the Press for Coherence:  Need for Closure: Individual Differences in the Press for Coherence NFC (Kruglanski and Webster, 1995) taps individual variation in the tendency to achieve a coherent understanding of a target, regardless of its inherent multi-dimensionality. High NFC = a low threshold for forging positive feedback loops among elements. Thus High NFC individuals will tend to evidence a catastrophic pattern of change in response to linear changes in provocation (movement between 2 attractors). Low NFCs will show graduated response to linear increases in provocation. Correlational Study:  Correlational Study 148 graduate students participated in an on-line study. Participants read 11 sequential scenarios describing an interpersonal conflict situation where the conflict was incrementally escalated in the first six scenarios and then incrementally de-escalated in the last five scenarios (Bui-Wrzosinska, 2005). They were also presented a list of 30 behavioral responses along with each scenario and asked to select their likely responses from this list to each scenario. Also measured participants' scores on Need for Closure using Webster and Kruglanski's (1994) Need for Closure Scale (Cronbach’s Alpha = .89). Compared participants 1 SD above (high NFC) and 1 SD below (low NFC) mean. Slide21:  High NFCs - Extreme Distribution Scenario Response Level (Empathy to harm) Low NFCs - Extreme Distribution Scenario Response Level (Empathy to harm) Figure 1: Preliminary Findings Fundamentals of Escalation:  Fundamentals of Escalation Intensification (emotionality, anxiety, tactics) Shift toward subjectivity? Positive feedback loops between elements and across levels Collapse of complexity Non-linear shifts between stages Behaviors normative (scripted) Multi-level structural changes GRIT: Graduated Reciprocation in Tension-reduction (Osgood, 1962):  GRIT: Graduated Reciprocation in Tension-reduction (Osgood, 1962) Proposed specifically for the nuclear arms race between USSR & US (mixed-motive). Arms race = problem of perceptual distortion, anxiety, stress, cognitive dynamics & inflexibility in decision-making. Aim: To reduce & control tension and create a climate of mutual trust where negotiations can be productive. Approach: Break the conflict spiral by one party taking the active step of reducing its threat potential (reverse arms race). 10 Point GRIT Strategy (Osgood, 1962):  10 Point GRIT Strategy (Osgood, 1962) Statement of intention Advance public notice of initiative Invitation for reciprocation Carry out initiative without required reciprocation Continue initiatives over time Unambiguous initiatives open to verification Risky but ultimately secure initiatives Maintain conventional arms strength Mirror degree or risk in reciprocation Use of diverse initiatives Aggression and Violence:  Aggression and Violence Defining Aggression/Violence:  Defining Aggression/Violence Any action that is intended to hurt others. Instrumental or emotional. Physical or symbolic. Self or other inflicted. Individual or political violence. Prosocial, sanctioned, or antisocial. Who are the worst aggressors?:  Who are the worst aggressors? 10-20 million Africans killed in middle passage during slave trading. The murder of 6 million Jews by the Nazis in WWII. The murder of 3 million Cambodians by the Pol Pot regime in 1970. Widespread torture of & violence against “dissidents”. All police acts this side of “police brutality” in law enforcement systems. Defining Aggression/Violence:  Defining Aggression/Violence Any action that is intended to hurt others. Instrumental or emotional. Physical or symbolic. Self or other inflicted. Individual or political violence. Prosocial, sanctioned, or antisocial. Preserving or changing status quo. Conscious or automatic (microagressions) Direct (episodic) or structural. Slide29:  Wow! This 28 acre multi-level recreational facility is really something. It rises 69 feet above the Hudson River and offers quite a number of recreational and athletic activities for everyone. Also, it's the only State Park situated within Manhattan Island. At this site one can find an Olympic-size pool, a skating rink for summer roller skating and winter ice skating, an 900 seat cultural theater, a 1,500 seat multi-use athletic complex with fitness room and a restaurant. Of course there's the carousel for kids as well and the other outdoor pools, basketball courts, paddleball courts, football/soccer field and picnic areas. Riverbank State Park, New York City Re-thinking Violence (Galtung, 1996; Christie, 1998):  Re-thinking Violence (Galtung, 1996; Christie, 1998) Episodic Violence: kills people directly kills quickly somatic incapacitation dramatic & personal acute insult to well-being subject-action-object observable intentional & immoral episodes may be prevented Structural Violence: kills people indirectly kills slowly somatic deprivation commonplace & impersonal chronic insult to well-being subject-action-object unobservable unintentional & amoral Inertia may be mitigated Peacemaking & Peacebuilding (Christie, 1998):  Peacemaking & Peacebuilding (Christie, 1998) Episodic Peace (Peacemaking): reduce direct violence emphasis on nonviolent means reactive temporal & spatial prevention of violence interest of status quo Structural Peace (Peacebuilding): reduce structural violence emphasis on socially just ends proactive pervasive promotion of justice threat to status quo Slide33:  Sustainable Peace = f(Peace(Peacemaking)building) Theories of Aggression & Violence:  Theories of Aggression & Violence Individual-level Social-level Structural-level Nested/multi-causal models Theories of Aggression & Violence:  Theories of Aggression & Violence Individual-level: Genetic pre-disposition Deviance Disposition Serotonin levels Blocked needs Gender Anger Moral disengagement & exclusion Theories of Aggression & Violence:  Theories of Aggression & Violence Social: Conditioned response (behaviorism) Social-learning theory Frustration-aggression-displacement Social-cognition Social-competence Relative deprivation Relative Deprivation (Merton & Kitt, 1950; Gurr, 1970):  Relative Deprivation (Merton & Kitt, 1950; Gurr, 1970) “…a perceived discrepancy between (people’s) value expectations and their value capabilities.” The difference between what I feel I deserve and what I can get. Relative to some reference group. Motivates through causing a sense of injustice and anger. Results in violence when it is instrumental to meeting my aspirations. Can be individual or group-based. Relative Deprivation Situation #1:  Relative Deprivation Situation #1 deserved achieved Relative Deprivation Situation #2:  Relative Deprivation Situation #2 deserved achieved Relative Deprivation Situation #3:  Relative Deprivation Situation #3 deserved achieved Theories of Aggression & Violence:  Theories of Aggression & Violence Structural-level: Normative social context Culture Poverty & malnutrition Human rights abuses Political oppression Media Access to weapons War An Eclectic Model of Violence:  An Eclectic Model of Violence 1 2 3 4 5 1. The Child 2. The Family 3. Schools 4. Communities 5. The Nation Gurr, 1989 Slide43:  MACRO MESO MICRO Global Societal Cultural Neighborhood School Family Individual Genetic Poverty: poor housing, transportation, environmental toxins, unemployment Legacies of direct & Institutionalized racism, militarization, associated trauma Insufficient access to decent healthcare & nutrition Insufficient external control: safety, security, surveillance Exclusive opportunity structures Adolescent development: hostile attributions, oppositional identities, increased aggression Destructive modeling: media, music parents, siblings, leaders, peers School competition: for status, grades, leadership, sports, turf Legacies of hostile divisions: ethnic, racial, class, gang Individual differences: poor impulse control, deviance, birth trauma, immoral reasoning, short life expectancy Poor school climate: discipline system, classroom management, governance Poor physical plant: building, noise, insects, temperature, # of students Family problems: drug and alcohol abuse, domestic abuse, divorce, crime Chronic feelings of humiliation, rage, helplessness, loyalty, injustice, hopelessness, loss, deprivation, low self-efficacy Drug trafficking, unsafe recreational facilities, alienation, crime Ecology of School Conflict & Violence A Story:  A Story The Harlem Children’s Zone

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