Anger, hatred, and the quest for peace: Anger can be constructive in the absence of hatred

Eran Halperin*, Alexandra G. Russell, Carol S. Dweck, James J. Gross

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

118 Scopus citations

Abstract

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.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)274-291
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Conflict Resolution
Volume55
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2011
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • anger
  • attribution
  • emotion
  • hatred
  • intergroup conflict

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