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Psychology Connected: War and Peace

Thursday 1 December 2022
Psychology Connected
Pieter de la Court
Wassenaarseweg 52
2333 AK Leiden
Centrall hall

On Thursday afternoon, 1 December, the second edition of Psychology Connected will take place. A recurring event to which the entire Psychology Institute is invited to engage with each other, over drinks, in a conversation about a better university and society. What do those look like and how do we get there?

War and Peace

If you've grown up in it, peace seems an unshakable certainty. Yet millions of people experience daily that a peace and prosperity is not a given, but a fragile right that can be taken away at any moment. Seemingly stable relations between people, countries, and institutions, can lose their ground in a matter of days. But how do conflict and war arise, and what are the conditions for peace? To answer these questions, we need multiple perspectives.

Animal kingdom

We cannot resolve conflicts without understanding their origins. Therefore, during this second Psychology Connected, we first delve into the animal kingdom: what can the social mechanisms between other animals teach us about conflict resolution and cooperation? Once we are able to negotiate, what lessons does economic behavioral psychology offer us? And when all room for negotiation has evaporated and disaster looms over us, how do insights from psychology help us avoid nuclear war?

About the speakers

Tom Roth is a behavioural biologist who is interested in social behaviour and social cognition of primates, more specifically great apes. For his PhD, he studies the cognitive processes underlying mate preferences of zoo-housed orang-utans and humans, with the goal of identifying methods to measure these preferences. Apart from his PhD research, he has studied social behaviour in zoo-housed gorillas and wild orang-utans.



Dr. Angelo Romano is a social psychologist who studies how and why humans cooperate or engage in conflict with unknown strangers. In particular, he is interested in understanding the ecological and psychological factors that can promote conflict and cooperation among people, groups, and nations. His approach is at the intersection of social psychology, evolutionary biology, and experimental economics.

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