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News When We Help Outsiders: A Bigger Picture, and Some Subtle Mechanisms

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Colloquium October 23, 2019
Photo of Prof. dr. Paul A.M. Van Lange

 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."

Paul van 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.

www.paulvanlange.com


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​Prof. dr. Paul A. M. Van Lange of the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam will present When We Help Outsiders: A Bigger Picture, and Some Subtle Mechanisms.

​When We Help Outsiders: A Bigger Picture, and Some Subtle Mechanisms.  Colloquium to be held Wednesday, October 23, 2019 at 3:30 pm in Wolf Hall 100.

10/9/2019
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