The promise of adopting an emotional approach to understanding and reducing political intolerance

Ruthie Pliskin, Eran Halperin

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

1 Scopus citations


The contributions of Sullivan and colleagues have shed light on many of the processes that promote and moderate political intolerance, allowing for a more nuanced understanding that has laid the groundwork for important follow-up research. Perhaps most importantly, these understandings may open the door for the development of psychology-based interventions aimed at decreasing intolerance, as we discuss in this chapter. Emotions have been demonstrated to be a powerful driving force behind political intolerance, with recent examinations illuminating the role played by discrete emotions like fear, anger, and hatred on this important social phenomenon. In this chapter, we aim to review theory and findings on the role of these and other emotions in increasing or decreasing political intolerance among different groups of individuals in different contexts. The emotional approach also contains great promise, as emotions are not only powerful-but also changeable. Drawing on the vast literature on emotion regulation, and specifically on developments in the study of emotion regulation as a tool for improving intergroup attitudes, we suggest emotion regulation may be effectively utilized to promote political tolerance. We discuss two different modes of emotion regulation-direct and indirect-and their potential benefits.

Original languageAmerican English
Title of host publicationAt the Forefront of Political Psychology
Subtitle of host publicationEssays in Honor of John L. Sullivan
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages20
ISBN (Electronic)9781000768138
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2020

Bibliographical note

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© 2020 Taylor & Francis.


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