Social conflicts abound. Conflict-free families, organisations, or nations do not exist. We detect conflict in people's frustrations and actions. Conflict becomes perceptible when individuals are annoyed by the actions of another person or a group. Th.is is a phenomenon so omnipresent in social life that we too easily take it for granted. People react by choosing from well-trodden paths: they avoid a reproach, they accommodate a poor plan, they negotiate on a price or a problem, and sometimes they fight an opponent on principle. Social scientists first describe such conflict behaviour, then try to explain it. They picture behavioural outcomes and then recommend or prescribe effective methods of conflict management.