Anger is often viewed as a destructive force in intergroup conflicts because of its links to aggressive behavior. The authors hypothesized, however, that anger should have constructive effects in those with low levels of hatred toward the out-group. Using experimental designs with subsamples of nationwide representative surveys, the authors conducted two studies within the context of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Study 1 showed that inducing anger toward Palestinians several weeks before the Annapolis summit increased support for making compromises in upcoming negotiations among those with low levels of hatred but decreased support for compromise among those with high levels of hatred. Study 2 showed that, even when a strong anger induction was used just days before the summit, the anger induction led to increased support for compromise among those low in hatred, but not among those high in hatred. The authors discuss the implications of these findings for informing a psychological understanding of conflicts.
- intergroup conflict