Intergroup Psychological Interventions: The Motivational Challenge

Alexander P. Landry*, Eran Halperin

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Social scientists have increasingly applied insights from descriptive research to develop psychological interventions aimed at improving intergroup relations. These interventions have achieved marked success—reducing prejudicial attitudes, fostering support for conciliatory social policies, and promoting peacebuilding behaviors. At the same time, intergroup conflict continues to rage in part because individuals often lack motivation to engage with these promising interventions. We take a step toward addressing this issue by developing a framework of approaches for delivering interventions to an unmotivated target audience. Along with (a) directly motivating targets by increasing their values and expectancies for addressing intergroup conflict, researchers can deliver interventions by (b) satisfying other psychological motivations of the target audience, (c) providing an instrumental benefit for engaging with the intervention, (d) embedding the intervention in a hedonically captivating medium, or (e) bypassing motivational barriers entirely by delivering the intervention outside of targets’ conscious awareness. We define each approach and use illustrative examples to organize them into a conceptual framework before concluding with implications and future directions.

Original languageAmerican English
JournalAmerican Psychologist
StateAccepted/In press - 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 American Psychological Association. All Rights Reserved.


  • goals
  • intergroup conflict
  • motivation
  • psychological interventions
  • values


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