Overcoming the Barrier of Narrative Adherence in Conflicts Through Awareness of the Psychological Bias of Naïve Realism

Meytal Nasie, Daniel Bar-Tal, Ruthie Pliskin, Eman Nahhas, Eran Halperin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

One significant socio-psychological barrier for peaceful resolution of conflicts is each party’s adherence to its own collective narrative. We hypothesized that raising awareness to the psychological bias of naïve realism and its identification in oneself would provide a path to overcoming this barrier, thus increasing openness to the adversary’s narrative. We conducted three experimental studies in the context of the Israeli–Palestinian conflict. Studies 1 and 2, conducted among Jewish Israelis and Palestinian Israelis, respectively, revealed that participants with hawkish political ideology reported greater openness to the adversary’s narrative when they were made aware of naïve realism bias. Study 3 revealed that hawkish participants at the baseline adhered to the ingroup narrative and resisted the adversary’s narrative more than dovish participants. They were also more able to identify the bias in themselves upon learning about it. This identification may explain why the manipulation led to bias correction only among hawkish participants.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1543-1556
Number of pages14
JournalPersonality and Social Psychology Bulletin
Volume40
Issue number11
DOIs
StatePublished - 11 Nov 2014

Keywords

  • collective narrative
  • intractable conflict
  • naïve realism
  • psychological bias
  • socio-psychological barriers

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