The Power to be Moral: Affirming Israelis’ and Palestinians’ Agency Promotes Prosocial Tendencies across Group Boundaries

Ilanit SimanTov-Nachlieli, Nurit Shnabel, Samer Halabi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations

Abstract

Based on recent extensions of the needs-based model of reconciliation, we argue that in conflicts characterized by mutual transgressions, such as the Israeli–Palestinian conflict, group members prioritize their agency-related over morality-related needs. Optimistically, however, two studies conducted among Israeli Jews (Study 1) and West Bank Palestinians (Study 2) found that addressing group members’ pressing need for agency by affirming their in-group's strength, competence, and self-determination brought their moral considerations to the fore, leading to stronger prosocial tendencies across group boundaries. These studies suggest that group members need to feel secure and agentic in order to allow their otherwise unprioritized moral needs to come into play. Practically, our insights regarding the positive effects of agency affirmation can be used in the planning of interventions by dialog group facilitators, mediators, or group leaders who wish to encourage members to relinquish some power in order to exhibit greater morality toward their out-group.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)566-583
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Social Issues
Volume72
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Sep 2016
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences (all)

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