Ethos of Conflict as the Prism to Evaluate the Northern Irish and the Israeli-Palestinian Conflicts by the Involved Societies: A Comparative Analysis

Daniel Bar-Tal, Karen Trew, Boaz Hameiri, Clifford Stevenson, Eman Nahhas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The present study compared participants’ evaluations of their own conflict with their evaluation of another conflict. These evaluations were examined through the prism of the ideological ethos of conflict (EOC), which was seen as the major contributing factor in the development of the biased perceptions, divergent understandings, and emotional responses previously observed among groups in conflict. The participants in the study were students: Protestants and Catholics from Northern Ireland, Jews and Palestinians from Israel, and an additional group of Swiss students. They were presented with four scenarios: Two scenarios presented separately the views of Catholics and Protestants about the conflict in Northern Ireland and two presented the views of Jews and Palestinians about the conflict in the Middle East. They were followed by a questionnaire that assessed emotional responses, attributions, and conflict assessment. Participants demonstrated greater bias when evaluating their own conflict than the other one, as a function of their level of adherence to the ethos of their conflict. The results showed consistently, and without exception, that individual’s ratings of their own conflict were significantly associated with their level of EOC’s acceptance as an ideology, but responses to another conflict were not. They imply that the EOC serves as a lens that is used to judge one’s own conflict in a biased way

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)415-425
Number of pages11
JournalPeace and Conflict
Volume27
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - 2021

Keywords

  • Ethos of conflict
  • Ideology
  • Intergroup conflict
  • Perception bias

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