Be Afraid, Be Very Afraid! Motivated Intergroup Emotion Regulation

Liat Netzer*, Eran Halperin, Maya Tamir

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Group-based emotions can shape group members’ behaviors and intergroup relations. Therefore, we propose that people may try to regulate emotions of outgroup members to attain ingroup goals. We call this phenomenon “motivated intergroup emotion regulation.” In four studies, conducted in both hypothetical and real-world contexts, we show that deterrence and reconciliation goals influence how fearful or calm people want outgroup members to feel, respectively. We further show that such motivated intergroup emotion regulation can guide behavior toward the outgroup, influencing how outgroup members feel (Studies 1, 2, and 4) and behave (Study 4). We demonstrate how affiliation with the ingroup, which renders ingroup goals more salient, shapes what ingroup members want outgroup members to feel (Studies 3 and 4) and subsequently how outgroup members feel and behave (Study 4). Finally, we discuss how motivated intergroup emotion regulation might contribute to understanding motivation in emotion regulation, group-based emotions, and intergroup relations.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)1596-1613
Number of pages18
JournalPersonality and Social Psychology Bulletin
Issue number11
StatePublished - 1 Nov 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 by the Society for Personality and Social Psychology, Inc.


  • emotion regulation
  • group-based emotions
  • intergroup relations
  • motivation


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