A major barrier to conflict resolution is group members' tendency to hold on to the ingroup's narrative of the conflict and reject the outgroup's perspective. In the current research, we propose that voicing internal criticism to an outgroup crowd can undermine such orientations and foster intergroup openness. Across four experiments, Israeli Jews who were exposed to a Palestinian criticizing Palestinians were more open to the Palestinians' perspective of the conflict, than those not exposed to the criticism. This effect was obtained when the criticism was related (Study 1) and unrelated (Study 2) to the conflict, and was consistently mediated by increased hope about the future relations between the groups. Study 3 showed that the effect is more pronounced among those who believe that groups can change. Study 4 established that perceptions about the outgroup as open-minded underlie the effect of ingroup criticism on hope, and further demonstrated downstream effects of openness.
- ingroup criticism
- outgroup openness