Conflict, culture, and complexity lab studiesOverview:
Our aim is to study how different levels of rule complexity affect constructive and destructive dynamics in conflict. To study this, we look to the basic, implicit rules people depend on in conflict situations and examine their nature and effects. Are these culturally bound rules of engagement simple, rigid, and general (for example: "If someone is a conservative, he or she will always be wrong")? Or are the rules more nuanced, flexible, and specific (for example: "If someone is a conservative, he or she will sometimes be wrong and sometimes be right and sometimes we won't know")? Structural characteristics such as these distinguish rules of low complexity (simple, rigid, and general) from those of high complexity (nuanced, flexible, and specific) and prior research suggests that more complex social interactions lead to more positive conflict outcomes.