Perceptions of a Changing World Induce Hope and Promote Peace in Intractable Conflicts

Smadar Cohen-Chen, Richard J. Crisp, Eran Halperin*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

64 Scopus citations


The importance of hope in promoting conciliatory attitudes has been asserted in the field of conflict resolution. However, little is known about conditions inducing hope, especially in intractable conflicts, where reference to the outgroup may backfire. In the current research, five studies yielded convergent support for the hypothesis that hope for peace stems from a general perception of the world as changing. In Study 1, coders observed associations between belief in a changing world, hope regarding peace, and support for concessions. Study 2 revealed the hypothesized relations using self-reported measures. Studies 3 and 4 established causality by instilling a perception of the world as changing (vs. unchanging) using narrative and drawing manipulations. Study 5 compared the changing world message with a control condition during conflict escalation. Across studies, although the specific context was not referred to, the belief in a changing world increased support for concessions through hope for peace.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)498-512
Number of pages15
JournalPersonality and Social Psychology Bulletin
Issue number4
StatePublished - 16 Apr 2015
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 by the Society for Personality and Social Psychology, Inc


  • belief in a changing world
  • emotions in conflict
  • hope
  • intractable conflict


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