Hope comes in many forms: out-group expressions of hope override low support and promote reconciliation in conflicts

Smadar Cohen-Chen*, Richard J. Crisp, Eran Halperin

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

In conflicts, political attitudes are based to some extent on the perception of the outgroup as sharing the goal of peace and supporting steps to achieve it. However, intractable conflicts are characterized by inconsistent and negative interactions, which prevent clear messages of outgroup support. This problem calls for alternative ways to convey support between groups in conflict. One such method is emotional expressions. The current research tested whether, in the absence of outgroup support for peace, observing expressions of outgroup hope induces conciliatory attitudes. Results from two experimental studies, conducted within the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, revealed support for this hypothesis. Expressions of Palestinian hope induced acceptance of a peace agreement through Israeli hope and positive perceptions of the proposal when outgroup support expressions were low. Findings demonstrate the importance of hope as a means of conveying information within processes of conflict resolution, overriding messages of low outgroup support for peace.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)153-161
Number of pages9
JournalSocial Psychological and Personality Science
Volume8
Issue number2
Early online date15 Sep 2016
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2017

Keywords

  • hope
  • emotional expressions
  • emotions in conflict
  • intergroup conflict

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