When We Help Outsiders: A Bigger Picture, and Some Subtle Mechanisms.
Prof. dr. Paul A. M. Van Lange of the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam will present.
He explains, "This talk addresses the ways in
which people can be motivated to help others, especially others that we may be
least likely to help, such as members of outgroups. It consists of three parts.
In the first part I address the brighter side by discussing social mindfulness,
a new concept that focuses on seeing and
acting upon opportunities to enact low-cost cooperative behavior. I report on
the origins of the concept of social mindfulness, along with a program of
research that focuses on the role of social class. Are people behaving more
mindfully toward others from lower or higher social classes? I will discuss
predictions derived from the perspectives focusing on status, similarity, and
fairness. In the second part, I discuss differences between countries in terms
of social mindfulness and punishment of free-riders in social dilemmas. These
lines of research highlight the importance of cross-societal differences in
trust and prosocial orientation. I will also discuss some intriguing
differences between the USA and China in how they deal with wealth differences
that are largely based on luck. In the third part, I will focus on the question
what the key determinants of helping strangers, members of outgroup, and
refugees are, as well as what some of the more subtle mechanisms might be. As
to the latter, I will particularly focus on the role of body language. The
bigger picture of this talk focuses on the importance of fairness (and empathy)
as a general principle that fosters outgroup helping. But small things matter
too, as they help us to trust outsiders – or not."
Lange is Professor of Social Psychology and Chair of the Department of Social
and Organizational Psychology at the VU University at Amsterdam, The
Netherlands. His research on human cooperation and trust is grounded in
psychological and evolutionary theorizing of social interdependence, through
which he seeks to understand the functions of forgiveness, generosity, empathy,
fairness, morality, retaliation, competition, as well as general beliefs of
human nature in various situations. He has published over 150 articles, having
considerable impact in psychology, experimental economics, evolutionary (game)
theory, and social neuroscience. With various international colleagues, Van
Lange has published several books. He has served as Associate Editor for
various journals; Director of the Kurt Lewin Institute (KLI); and as President
of the Society of Experimental Social Psychology (SESP). He is founding editor of an interdisciplinary
series on Human Cooperation.
The colloquium will be held on Wednesday, October 23, 2019 at 3:30 pm in Wolf Hall 100.