Overcoming competitive victimhood and facilitating forgiveness through re-categorization into a common victim or perpetrator identity

Nurit Shnabel, Samer Halabi, Masi Noor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

We argue that facilitating forgiveness among groups involved in intractable conflicts requires reducing competitive victimhood which stems from the conflicting parties' motivation to restore agency and a positive moral image. Examining novel and traditional re-categorization interventions, Study 1 found that inducing Israeli Jews and Palestinians with a common victim identity decreased competitive victimhood, which in turn increased forgiveness. Inducing a common regional identity failed to initiate a similar process. Study 2 further revealed that inducing either a common victim or a common perpetrator identity (but not a common regional identity) led to decreased competitive victimhood and increased forgiveness. The mechanisms involved were decreased moral defensiveness in the common victim intervention versus increased sense of agency in the common perpetrator intervention.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)867-877
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Experimental Social Psychology
Volume49
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2013

Keywords

  • Agency
  • Common ingroup identity model
  • Competitive victimhood
  • Intergroup forgiveness
  • Israeli-Palestinian conflict
  • Moral image

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