The Networked Mind: Collective Identities and the Cognitive-Affective Nature of Conflict

  • Manjana MilkoreitEmail author
  • Steven Mock
Part of the Lecture Notes in Social Networks book series (LNSN)


Using a cognitive approach to the study of conflict that conceptualizes the mind as a network of mental representations, we make three arguments about the role of collective identities in the emergence, persistence and resolution of conflict. Collective identities are subsystems of larger networks of mental representations that make up an individual mind. Because they manifest the group within the mind of an individual, but also connect and align the individual mind with that of other group members, collective identities are an essential element of a complex, multilevel process that constitutes the group in the first place—they are necessary for the emergence of the social group phenomenon. Finally, collective identities are “sticky” in the sense that they are more resistant to change and trigger stronger—more emotional—defensive responses than other mental representations when challenged.


Cognition Emotion National identity Conflict 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Waterloo Institute for Complexity and InnovationUniversity of WaterlooWaterlooCanada
  2. 2.Global Institute of SustainabilityArizona State UniversityPhoenixUSA
  3. 3.Balsillie School of International AffairsUniversity of WaterlooWaterlooCanada

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