Social-Psychological Processes Involved In Conflict

Social-Psychological Processes Involved In Conflict

Conflict: Is It a Friend or Enemy?

Conflict has been described “as a disagreement through which the parties involved perceive a threat to their needs, interests or concerns” (About Conflict, n.d.). Conflict has a tendency to be escorted by substantial levels of misunderstanding that overstress the alleged disagreement significantly. Until individuals can comprehend the aspects that contribute to the disagreement, they will not be able to identify the root cause in order to solve the right problems and satisfy the needs of the people involved. There are three levels of conflict to include interpersonal, intergroup, and international.

In conditions where the interests of members of one social identity group are contrasting to those of another social identity group, intergroup conflicts arise (Stephan, 2008). These groups embody numerous qualities, beliefs, or distinctive traits that are generated, followed, and safeguarded. Simply enough, the nature of the group alone may cause conflict among several other factors such as goal discrepancies, differences in opinions/perceptions/culture, work interdependence, and power discrepancies. For example, demonstrations against law enforcement sparked by a publicized incident such as the Michael Brown shooting in Ferguson, MO or the recent conflict in Baltimore, MD regarding the death of a young man in police custody.

Three of the Social-psychological Processes

Keep in mind there are many “perceptual filters” that impact our reactions to a conflictual situation, conflicts contain substantive, procedural, and psychological dimensions that must be negotiated, are predictable and expected to arise, and in order to generate positive resolution methods, creative problem-solving strategies should be used (About Conflict, n.d.). Many feelings of mistrust, injustice, and lack of respect, and negative thoughts are evident when intergroup conflicts occur.  Three of the social-psychological processes selected to address intergroup conflict for this discussion are social justice, trust, and power. Social justice affects conflict due to the perception of fairness from each group involved. Social justice demands both that rules be fair, and also that people follow the rules. Without trust, conflict is fuel to a fire instead of water. It will cause more destruction making it very different to resolve active conflict. All conflicts are thought to include power. Each party must believe they have influence over the power that is provided to the other group if power is relinquished, it may negatively impact legitimate authority (Coleman, Deutsch, & Marcus, 2014)..

Advantage and Disadvantage of Intergroup Conflict

Intergroup conflict can become advantageous as it forces change to occur within the groups and the conflict between them (Coleman, Deutsch, & Marcus, 2014). Inside the groups, associates will frequently accept individual variances in an effort for alliances against the opposing group. This is primarily due to the concentrated effort is focused on the task. Group efficiency and effectiveness is a result of group loyalty and acceptance of group norms. The disadvantage of intergroup conflict occurs when the group misplaces focus of the organization’s objectives and converts to shutting off from other groups. This in turns fosters haughtiness and isolation leading to declined communication. According to Liebovitch, Vallacher, & Michaels (2010) communication is the significant between groups in mutual interdependence. The fall of any organization is miscommunication or lack of communication. How the conflict is handled between the groups will determine its success for resolution. In the end, resolutions should be a win-win for both groups if possible (50 Lessons Ltd., 2009).

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