Extinction threat and reciprocal threat reduction: Collective angst predicts willingness to compromise in intractable intergroup conflicts

Eran Halperin, Roni Porat*, Michael J.A. Wohl

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

41 Scopus citations

Abstract

Two experiments examined the impact of ingroup extinction threat on willingness to compromise with an adversary group. Specifically, Israel's ability to cope with a nuclear capable Iran was manipulated and Israelis' willingness to compromise with Hamas (Experiment 1) or the Palestinian Authority (Experiment 2) was assessed. In Experiment 1, extinction threat decreased willingness to compromise with Hamas-an effect mediated by heightened collective angst. Conversely, in Experiment 2, extinction threat increased willingness to compromise with the Palestinian Authority, again via collective angst. The reason for this inverted effect in Experiment 2 was perceived reciprocal threat reduction-the belief that compromise with the Palestinian Authority would reduce the Iranian threat (a belief not relevant to the issue of compromise with Hamas). Implications for the understanding of intergroup conflicts and peace making are discussed within the context of the role played by collective angst.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)797-813
Number of pages17
JournalGroup Processes and Intergroup Relations
Volume16
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2013

Keywords

  • Palestinian-Israeli conflict
  • collective angst
  • extinction threat
  • intergroup emotions
  • threat reduction

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