Group apology under unstable status relations: Perceptions of insincerity hinder reconciliation and forgiveness

Nurit Shnabel*, Samer Halabi, Ilanit SimanTov-Nachlieli

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations

Abstract

This research examined the effects of structural conditions on perceptions of and responses to an apology offered by an advantaged majority group to a disadvantaged minority group. We used the dramatic regional changes of the Arab Spring to manipulate the instability of status relations between Israeli Arabs and Jews. In two studies, we found that under instability (vs. control), both Israeli Jews (advantaged group members; Study 1) and Israeli Arabs (disadvantaged group members; Study 2) perceived an apology offered to the Arab minority by the Israeli Prime Minister as insincere and manipulative (i.e., intended to serve the Jews rather than the Arabs). Perceived insincerity, in turn, led to reduced forgiveness and conciliatory tendencies among Israeli Arabs (Study 2). These findings shed light on how structural factors might render group apologies counterproductive in promoting positive intergroup relations. Theoretical and practical implications are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)716-725
Number of pages10
JournalGroup Processes and Intergroup Relations
Volume18
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - 24 Sep 2015

Funding

FundersFunder number
FP7/20072934602, PCIG09-GA-2011-293602
Seventh Framework Programme

    Keywords

    • (in)sincerity
    • group apology
    • group forgiveness
    • intergroup reconciliation
    • unstable status relations

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