Introductory Seminars for First-Year Students

Us and Them: The Psychology of Intergroup Relations

OB 118N

Why do individuals participate in intergroup conflict? Should we celebrate differences or de-emphasize them to improve intergroup interactions? What roles do gender, race, and culture play in everyday workplace interactions, such as networking and negotiating? Intergroup relations in the 21st century raise significant theoretical and practical questions related to intergroup conflict and cooperation, prejudice and discrimination, and the interests, identities, ideologies and institutions that shape interactions between "us" and "them". Together, we will explore cognitive, affective, behavioral, social and organizational processes that shape how we navigate intergroup interactions. This course builds on concepts and research findings from social psychology, judgment and decision making, sociology, cognitive science, and management. You will have opportunities to present, discuss and debate classic and current research findings in this field. You will also have opportunities to play an active role in intergroup exercises and simulations (e.g., a cross-cultural negotiation). By the end of this course, you should have a deeper understanding of the problems and the solutions that social scientists work on in the domain of intergroup relations, as well as of how academic research relates to ongoing efforts to promote JEDI (Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion) initiatives and policies in organizations and society at large. Your final grade in this course will be based on evaluation of your brief reflection write-ups, in-class participation in our activities, and final paper.

Meet the Instructor(s)

Nir Halevy

"“Hi! My name is Nir Halevy. Having been born and raised in Israel, and having interests in sports and politics, I have developed a keen interest in understanding how people think, feel, and act in group and intergroup settings. As a faculty member at the Organizational Behavior group at Stanford's Graduate School of Business I have conducted research on group and intergroup processes and had opportunities to teach negotiation to thousands of negotiators from many different countries and backgrounds. I look forward to sharing with you some of the things I have learned about the psychology of intergroup relations, and to thinking together about the manner in which the psychology of intergroup relations manifests in the everyday lives of individuals, organizations, and nations.”