Cooperation and Competition

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

Course Description

  • Course Name

    Cooperation and Competition

  • Host University

    Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

  • Location

    Amsterdam, The Netherlands

  • Area of Study

    Behavioral Science, Psychology

  • Language Level

    Taught In English

  • Course Level Recommendations


    ISA offers course level recommendations in an effort to facilitate the determination of course levels by credential evaluators.We advice each institution to have their own credentials evaluator make the final decision regrading course levels.

    Hours & Credits

  • ECTS Credits

  • Recommended U.S. Semester Credits
  • Recommended U.S. Quarter Units
  • Overview

    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 collective.

    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.


    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.

Course Disclaimer

Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.

Some courses may require additional fees.


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