The goal of the current project is to integrate psychological research on emotion regulation with the study of democratic practices in general and political intolerance in particular. We hypothesized that the use of a well-established emotion regulation strategy, cognitive reappraisal, would be associated with lower levels of group-based negative emotions toward one's least-liked group and lower levels of political intolerance toward that group. Preliminary data based on nationwide survey conducted among Jews in Israel show that the tendency to reappraise negative emotions during war is associated with more tolerant attitudes. In studies 1 and 2, we experimentally manipulated reappraisal, and this led to reduced levels of political intolerance toward Palestinian Citizens of Israel (study 1) and toward one's least-liked group (study 2). These effects were transmitted via a decrease in negative emotions in both studies, as well as by an increase in support for general democratic values in Study 2.
- emotion regulation
- political intolerance