This chapter presents an outline of a theory of intergroup conflict and some preliminary data relating to the theory. Much of the work on the social psychology of intergroup relations has focused on patterns of individual prejudices and discrimination and on the motivational sequences of interpersonal interaction. The intensity of explicit intergroup conflicts of interests is closely related in human cultures to the degree of opprobrium attached to the notion of "renegade" or "traitor." The basic and highly reliable finding is that the trivial, ad hoc intergroup categorization leads to in-group favoritism and discrimination against the out-group. Many orthodox definitions of "social groups" are unduly restrictive when applied to the context of intergroup relations. The equation of social competition and intergroup conflict rests on the assumptions concerning an "ideal type" of social stratification in which the salient dimensions of intergroup differentiation are those involving scarce resources.