Intractable conflicts are a severe type of intergroup conflict. When people who perceive themselves as involved in such conflicts learn of other conflicts being resolved around the world, they often explain this by contending that their conflict is unique, and thus justify their perception of its irresolvability. Accordingly, across 3 studies, we examined the hypothesis that the perception of conflict uniqueness is negatively associated with support for concession-making and that when the conflict is perceived as unique, it is also perceived as irresolvable. Study 1 established the perception of the conflict as unique as a new variable, which is distinct from other and more specific unique aspects of conflicts. Additionally, it revealed a negative association between this perception and support for concession-making. In Studies 2 and 3, we demonstrated that the effect of a perception of conflict uniqueness on support for concession-making is moderated by malleability beliefs regarding conflicts in general. Results have both theoretical and practical implications regarding the ability to increase support for concession-making in intractable conflicts.
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© 2015 American Psychological Association.
- Implicit beliefs
- Intractable conflicts