Cooperation and Competition


Course Objective

The fundamental question about human behavior that will be examined
throughout the duration of the course is: What gets individuals to
sacrifice their immediate self interests to do what is best for a

Course Content

Humans are ultra-social. We are constantly interacting with other
individuals and groups. Often during these interactions people can find
that their immediate self interest is at odds with what is best for
their relationships, family, work organizations, community , nation, and
species. How we resolve these motivational conflicts is a central issue
in the study of human conflict and cooperation. This course will cover
theories and research on human cooperation. In so doing, we will examine
several different perspectives on human cooperation (e.g., evolution,
cultural theory, and interdependence theory) and review research on the
factors that influence cooperation (e.g., communication, incentives,
motives, and trust). The study of human cooperation has several
practical implications, e.g. how to reduce conflict in marriages, what
are the most effect ways to manage work groups, what can governments do
to encourage corporations to engage in environmentally friendly
behaviors, and what strategies can reduce international conflict, to
name a few. Throughout the course we will address both theoretical and
practical implications of research on human cooperation.

Teaching Methods

There will be 12 lectures, 1.5 hours each

Method of Assessment

The course evaluation will be based on a final exam. The final exam will
involve multiple choice questions, short answers, and at least on essay
questions. The final exam will be in English


The course will involve reading several assigned book chapters and
research articles. These will be made available on Canvas.

Additional Information

The maximum capacity for this course is 70 students.

General Information

Course Code P_BCOCOM
Credits 6 EC
Period P5
Course Level 300
Language of Tuition English
Faculty Fac. of Behavioural and Movement Science
Course Coordinator prof. dr. D.P. Balliet
Examiner prof. dr. D.P. Balliet
Teaching Staff prof. dr. D.P. Balliet

Practical Information

You need to register for this course yourself

Teaching Methods Lecture, Study Group
Target audiences

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