Dehumanization, Retributive and Restorative Justice, and Aggressive Versus Diplomatic Intergroup Conflict Resolution Strategies

1University of Massachusetts Amherst, USA.
Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin (Impact Factor: 2.52). 02/2013; 39(2):181-92. DOI: 10.1177/0146167212472208
Source: PubMed


The desire for justice can escalate or facilitate resolution of intergroup conflicts. Two studies investigated retributive and restorative notions of justice as the mediating factor of the effect of perceived outgroup sentience-an aspect of (mechanistic) dehumanization referring to the emotional depth attributed to others-on intergroup conflict resolution. Study 1 showed that for Palestinians, who see themselves as victims, perceived sentience of Israelis decreased retributive but increased restorative notions of justice, which, ultimately, increased support for conflict resolution by negotiation rather than political violence. Study 2 partially replicated Study 1's findings with Jewish Israelis. The role of perceived sentience and its relationship to retributive and restorative notions of justice in protracted and nonprotracted conflicts and their resolution is discussed.

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Available from: Emanuele Castano,
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    • "A second plausible mechanism is moral disengagement (see Bandura, 1999; Castano & Giner-Sorolla, 2006; Haslam & Loughnan, 2014; Leidner et al., 2013; Leidner, Castano, Zaiser, & Giner-Sorolla, 2010). Perceivers may deny agency to harmful agents as a means of legitimating any aggressive action taken against the agent as retribution for their crime. "
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