Focusing on global environmental issues can help to resolve intergroup conflict in spite of the disparity between rich and poor regions

[Speaker] Ohnuma, Susumu:1
[Co-author] Kitakaji, Yoko:1, Kobayashi, Tsubasa:1
1:Hokkaido University (Japan)

Studies on social dilemmas have shown that communication can increase cooperation, as discussion promotes a shared recognition of common fate. This is relevant for addressing global environmental issues. Conversely, the disparity between rich and poor can hinder cooperation, and promote intergroup conflicts. This study proposes that, even with disparity, communication focusing on global environmental issues can increase cooperation and ease intergroup conflicts.
To assess this we used the Simulated International Society Game (SIMINSOC), which simulates processes of intergroup conflict and cooperation. In each game, there were two rich and two poor regions, each containing 10-15 individuals. We conducted 15 games with 722 participants in total.
The results revealed that recognition of common fate, which was facilitated by communication, increased acceptance of the burden for mitigating environmental impacts, even in poor regions. Furthermore, a super-ordinate (global) identity became stronger after experiencing an environmental disaster, suggesting intergroup conflict could be reduced.
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