Perceiving change on the rival side of the conflict: A pathway to peace-building

Nimrod Rosler*, Boaz Hameiri, Daniel Bar-Tal, Moni Shimona Or

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Deep distrust of the rival is widely shared among members of society involved in intractable conflicts, and constitutes a major barrier for peace-building. In the current research we examine an intervention aimed at legitimizing the other side as a partner to peace that can be trusted through providing information about a peaceful change among a member of the rival group. Study 1 (N = 253) revealed that providing Jewish-Israelis with such information about a Palestinian increases unfreezing, trust of the rival group, and support for peace-building compared to the control condition. Moreover, we found that unfreezing followed by trust mediated the effect of the intervention on increased support for peace-building. Comparing the effects of four variations of the change story, we found in Study 2 (N = 801) that the story of a Palestinian who had to deal with adversity within his own group created more trust and hope among rightist participants, while the story of a Palestinian coming from the family that believes in peace created heightened trust and hope for center-left participants. We offer insights into ideological-based differences of persuasive messages relating to peace-building.

Original languageEnglish
Article number101861
JournalInternational Journal of Intercultural Relations
StatePublished - Sep 2023


FundersFunder number
Tel Aviv University


    • Hope
    • Intractable conflicts
    • Israeli-Palestinian conflict
    • Peace-building
    • Trust
    • Unfreezing


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