International Society of Political Psychology

Conference Abstracts

Attitude change after 2008 Georgia-Russian War

(Session Organizer) Guguli Magradze, Tbilisi State University

Conference: ISPP 2011
Affiliation: Tbilisi State University
Research Area: Political conflict, violence, and crisis

August war 2008 has served as a trigger of tense political situation among the parties of the conflict. Such parties include Georgians, Abkhazians and Russians. The aim of the research is to define whether or not attidues of Georgians towards Ossetians, Abkhazians and Russians have changed after the war.

The main hypothesis of the research is that attitudes towards Ossetians and Abkhazians differ from their attitudes towards Russians. In case of Ossetians and Abkhazians cultural context is the same as that of Georgians, while in case of Russians, the cultural context is different. Cultural context is important since it is the case that ethnicity or nationality, are always constituted by some measure of “cultural content,” though often (from an outside observer’s perspective), exaggeratedly or even spuriously so.

The research aims to reveal ethnotolerant attitudes of Georgians. Towards this end, the research uses already probed methodologies – Ethnophylia and Bogardus scales and unites them under one, culturally adapted research model. At the same time, respondents will be studied via narrative method, which means that they will have a chance to elaborate and justify their attitudes, which in its turn, will give us a chance to define their earlier experience, general knowledge and cultural dispositions.

The research has both, scientific and applied relevance. Beneficiaries include political and psychological professionals, state bodies focusing on conflict resolution, non-governmental organizations specializing in conflict management and the most important to us, respondents involved in the research themselves: It is scientifically tested that those who agree to particiapte in a similar research, tend to change their attitudes. Main result of the research can be increasing openness to ethnic differences e.i. ethnotolerance, which, as stated above, triggers mutually beneficial cooperative behavior and which in its turn primes new ways for conflict management and implemetation.