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Department of Psychology Social and Economic Psychology

New publication: "Conflict misperceptions between citizens and foreigners across the globe"

New paper published in PNAS Nexus.

Abstract: In a globalizing world, conflict between citizens and foreigners hinders cooperation and hampers how well the global community can tackle shared problems. Here, we study conflict between citizens and foreigners and find that people substantially misperceive how competitive foreigners are. Citizens (from 51 countries; N = 12,863; 656,274 decisions) interacted with foreigners in incentivized contest experiments. People across the globe systematically failed to anticipate the competitiveness of foreigners and either competed too much or too little. Competition was poorly explained by differences in cultural values or environmental stress. By contrast, competition and concomitant conflict misperceptions were robustly accounted for by differences in the wealth of nations, institutions, and histories of engaging in international conflict. Our results reveal how macro-level socio-economic differences between countries create false stereotypes and might breed conflict.

Reference: Romano, A., Gross, J., & De Dreu, C. K. (2022). Conflict misperceptions between citizens and foreigners across the globe. PNAS Nexus, 1(5), pgac267.

Link to publication