Emotion, emotion regulation, and conflict resolution

Eran Halperin*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

93 Scopus citations


The central role played by emotions in conflict has long been recognized by many of the scholars who study ethnic conflicts and conflict resolution. Yet recent developments in the psychological study of discrete emotions and of emotion regulation have yet to receive adequate attention by those who study and seek to promote conflict resolution. At the same time, scholars of emotion and emotion regulation have only rarely tested their core theories in the context of long-term conflicts, which constitute a unique and highly emotional environment. I argue that building bridges between these two communities would help us to form a better understanding of core processes in emotion and emotion regulation as well as greatly advance theory and practice in conflict resolution. To address that goal, a theoretical, appraisal-based model elucidating the way emotions operate in the context of conflict resolution processes is presented, followed by a review of recent empirical developments in the study of discrete emotions in conflict resolution processes. Next, I discuss various avenues of influence and provide preliminary data regarding the potential role of two types of emotion regulation processes (i.e., direct and indirect) in conflict resolution efforts. Finally, I describe the future challenges in integrating these two bodies of knowledge, at both the theoretical and the applied levels.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)68-76
Number of pages9
JournalEmotion Review
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • conflict resolution
  • emotion
  • emotion regulation
  • intergroup conflicts


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