Disappointment expression evokes collective guilt and collective action in intergroup conflict: the moderating role of legitimacy perceptions

Nevin Solak, Michal Reifen Tagar, Smadar Cohen-Chen, Tamar Saguy, Eran Halperin*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations

Abstract

Research on intergroup emotions has largely focused on the experience of emotions and surprisingly little attention has been given to the expression of emotions. Drawing on the social-functional approach to emotions, we argue that in the context of intergroup conflicts, outgroup members’ expression of disappointment with one’s ingroup induces the complementary emotion of collective guilt and correspondingly a collective action protesting ingroup actions against the outgroup. In Study 1 conducted immediately after the 2014 Gaza war, Jewish-Israeli participants received information about outgroup’s (Palestinians) expression of emotions (disappointment, fear, or none). As predicted, outgroup’s expression of disappointment increased collective guilt and willingness to participate in collective action, but only among those who saw the intergroup situation as illegitimate. Moreover, collective guilt mediated the relationship between disappointment expression and collective action, moderated, again, by legitimacy perception. In Study 2, we replicated these results in the context of racial tension between Black and White Americans in the US. We discuss the theoretical and applied implications of the findings.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)1112-1126
Number of pages15
JournalCognition and Emotion
Volume31
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - 18 Aug 2017
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.

Keywords

  • Emotion
  • collective action
  • collective guilt
  • disappointment
  • intergroup conflict

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