International Society of Political Psychology

Conference Abstracts

1P Emotion Regulation in Intergroup Conflict – A New Avenue for Conflict Resolution

(Session Organizer) Eran Halperin, IDC Herzliya; (Chair) Eran Halperin, IDC Herzliya; (Discussant) Pazit Ben Nun Bloom, Tel-Aviv University

Conference: ISPP 2011
Affiliation: IDC Herzliya
Research Area: Political conflict, violence, and crisis

General Description: Scholars who study international relations and ethnic conflicts have long recognized the central role played by emotions in conflict escalation, de-escalation, and resolution (Bar-Tal, 2007; Horowitz, 1985; Petersen, 2002). The extensive growth in the study of emotions in general and emotions in conflicts in particular has helped identify the specific roles played by discrete inter-group emotions in hindering progress towards peace (Halperin, 2008a, 2008b; Lerner & Keltner, 2001; Lindner, 2006; Maoz & McCauley, 2005; Paez, 2007). This means that at this stage we have significantly improved our ability to identify the emotional barriers to conflict resolution (for a review, see: Halperin, Sharvit & Gross, 2011). Nonetheless, important as it may be, the identification of the barriers is not satisfactory by itself, and extensive research is still required in order to reveal possible ways of overcoming these emotional barriers. The main premise of the current panel is that the increasing scholarly efforts in the domain of Emotion Regulation (see Gross, 2007) can be used as a proper platform for research aimed at identifying means to overcome the emotional barriers to peace. Hence, the goal of the current project will be to reveal ways through which strategies of emotion regulation can contribute to overcoming the emotional barriers and mobilizing public opinion to support conflict resolution and peacemaking. The panel will include 4 empirical papers, all conducted among Jews in Israel within the context of the ongoing conflict between Israelis and Palestinians. The studies provide preliminary empirical (correlative and experimental) support for the notion that emotion regulation strategies can and should play an important role in conflict resolution efforts.