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Peaceful in the Middle East

A Middle Eastern boy making a peace sign
March 27, 2014

Intractable intergroup conflicts, such as the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, represent the greatest threats we face as a species. These conflicts are inherently psychological, but social psychologists have only recently begun applying their methods to analyze and perhaps help heal these conflicts. In this Special Project, SPARQ Faculty Affiliates Carol Dweck and James Gross are collaborating with Eran Halperin of the Interdisciplinary Center in Herzliya, Israel, to design interventions that will help Israelis and Palestinians better regulate their emotions in times of conflict. In a brief workshop, these interventions first impart to their participants that emotions can and should be controlled. Researchers then teach participants how to reappraise situations in order to feel less anger, sadness, shame, and disappointment—all emotions that can fuel hostilities towards outgroup members.

 

Image CC by Jonathan Poritsky