Simple kindness can go a long way: Relationships, social identity, and engagement

Susan M. Andersen, S. Adil Saribay, Jennifer S. Thorpe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper reviews literature on relationships and draws a link to social identity using an integrative model that has implications for cooperative behavior within and between groups, and for establishing cultures of peace. For example, the group-value model suggests that how communications are delivered (e.g., through conveying respect) matters for cooperation and acceptance of group decisions. Extending this, and based on research on relationships, our integrative model points to the importance of conveying interpersonal warmth and kindness for facilitating pursuit of shared aims among people from different groups/backgrounds. We consider the implications of this for peaceful resolution of conflict.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)59-69
Number of pages11
JournalSocial Psychology
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2008


  • Contact hypothesis
  • Cooperation
  • Group identity
  • Relationships
  • Significant others

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • General Psychology


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