Intergroup conflict: Individual, group and collective interests.

Gary Bornstein

Intergroup conflicts generally involve conflicts of interests within the competing groups as well. This paper outlines a taxonomy of games, called team games, which incorporate the intragroup and intergroup levels of conflict. Its aims are to provide a coherent framework for analyzing the prototypical problems of cooperation and competition that arise within and between groups, and to review an extensive research program which has utilized this framework to study individual and group behavior in the laboratory. Depending on the game's payoff structure, contradictions or conflicts were created between the rational choices at the individual, group, and collective levels -- a generalization of the contradiction between individual and collective rationality occurring in the traditional mixed-motive games. These contradictions were studied so as to identify the theoretical and behavioral conditions that determine which level of rationality prevails.

August, 2002
Published in: 
Personality and Social Psychology Review, 7 (2003), 129-145