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Gilad Hirschberger

Gilad Hirschberger
Reichman University · Psychology

Ph.D

About

98
Publications
59,479
Reads
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3,267
Citations
Additional affiliations
November 2009 - May 2021
Interdisciplinary Center Herzliya
Position
  • Professor (Full)
August 2003 - December 2009
Bar Ilan University
Position
  • Professor (Assistant)
Education
September 1992 - May 1996
University of California, Berkeley
Field of study
  • Psychology

Publications

Publications (98)
Article
Full-text available
Collective trauma is a cataclysmic event that shatters the basic fabric of society. Aside from the horrific loss of life, collective trauma is also a crisis of meaning. The current paper systematically delineates the process that begins with a collective trauma, transforms into a collective memory, and culminates in a system of meaning that allows...
Article
Full-text available
Research indicates that the memory of collective trauma influences attitudes towards contemporary social and political issues. We suggest that the specific attributions for trauma that members of victim and perpetrator groups make provide a more nuanced understanding of this relationship. Thus, we constructed and validated a measure of attributions...
Article
Full-text available
Research indicates that the memory of collective historical trauma may fuel current intergroup conflicts. In the present research, we examined in two experiments whether perpetrator desire for historical closure influences victim group attitudes in a current, seemingly unrelated, intergroup conflict. In Study 1 (N=122), participants texted with a G...
Article
Full-text available
The present research examines the hypothesis that political leftists and rightists mentally construe collective threats differently, such that each political side views the threats that are meaningful to them as close and concrete, whereas other threats are under emphasized and perceived as distant and abstract. In two studies (total N=796) we show...
Article
Full-text available
The purpose of the present article is to systematically investigate how people perceive collective threat and how such threat perceptions relate to political preferences. Existing threat taxonomies are mostly derived from top-down analyses and little attempt has been made to examine bottom-up how people spontaneously perceive threats. One area wher...
Article
Full-text available
U.S.-based research suggests conservatism is linked with less concern about contracting coronavirus and less preventative behaviors to avoid infection. Here, we investigate whether these tendencies are partly attributable to distrust in scientific information, and evaluate whether they generalize outside the U.S., using public data and recruited re...
Article
Full-text available
People differ in their general tendency to endorse conspiracy theories (that is, conspiracy mentality). Previous research yielded inconsistent findings on the relationship between conspiracy mentality and political orientation, showing a greater conspiracy mentality either among the political right (a linear relation) or amongst both the left and r...
Preprint
Full-text available
U.S.-based research suggests conservatism is linked with less concern about contracting coronavirus and less preventative behaviors to avoid infection. Here, we investigate whether these tendencies are partly attributable to distrust in scientific information, and evaluate whether they generalize outside the U.S., using public data and recruited re...
Article
Reminders of ingroup-perpetrated violence represent a psychological stressor that some people respond to defensively (e.g., justifying the violence), while others react non-defensively (e.g., accepting collective responsibility). To explain these divergent responses, we applied the biopsychosocial model of challenge and threat to the context of int...
Article
Full-text available
Research suggests that belief in conspiracy theories (CT) stems from basic psychological mechanisms and is linked to other belief systems (e.g. religious beliefs). While previous research has extensively examined individual and contextual variables associated with CT beliefs, it has not yet investigated the role of culture. In the current research,...
Preprint
Full-text available
Research suggests that belief in conspiracy theories (CT) stems from basic psychological mechanisms and is linked to other belief systems (e.g. religious beliefs). While previous research has extensively examined individual and contextual variables associated with CT beliefs, it has not yet investigated the role of culture. In the current research,...
Chapter
Full-text available
This chapter examines the role of existential threat in responses to (historical) collective victimization. The literature on collective victimhood developed from an intergroup relations and conflict resolution perspective. Consequently, individual and intragroup responses to collective victimhood have been understudied. This limitation can be addr...
Article
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Previous research in the Turkish–Kurdish conflict context highlighted two opposing conflict narratives: (a) a terrorism narrative and (b) an independence narrative. In this article, we argue that these narratives are relevant to protracted and asymmetrical intergroup conflict (e.g., independence struggles), and therefore have consequences for confl...
Preprint
Full-text available
The purpose of the present article is to systematically investigate how people perceive collective threat and how such threat perceptions relate to political preferences. Existing threat taxonomies have been theoretically contrived and no attempt has been made thus far to examine how people spontaneously perceive threats. One area where this is of...
Preprint
Full-text available
The purpose of the present article is to systematically investigate how people perceive collective threat and how such threat perceptions relate to political preferences. Existing threat taxonomies have been theoretically contrived and no attempt has been made thus far to examine how people spontaneously perceive threats. One area where this is of...
Preprint
Full-text available
A team of 37 researchers (Many Labs 4; Klein et al., 2019) has recently reported that it has failed to replicate the effect of mortality salience on worldview defense-a classic finding from terror management theory (TMT). This collaborative project (21 labs, N = 2220) has the potential to provide useful information regarding the robustness of an of...
Article
Full-text available
This research examines the motivational underpinnings of late bachelorhood through the lens of terror management and attachment theory. We hypothesized that although close relationships reduce existential concerns for most people, for avoidantly-attached singles thoughts of marriage may increase existential concerns. These hypotheses were tested in...
Article
Full-text available
Previous studies indicate that death reminders elicit prosocial behavior, but also an urge to distance from physical disabilities. Here, we examine whether mortality salience will increase implicit aggression when one is explicitly requested to help a person with physical disability. This implicit negative response may address the need for self-pro...
Article
Objective: Ex-prisoners of war (ex-POWs) experience prolonged distress that in some cases may influence their cellular aging (telomere length). The current research examines whether attachment orientations of ex-POWs and their spouses can explain individual differences in telomere length 40 years after the experience of captivity. Methods: Eighty-e...
Article
Full-text available
Oxytocin (OT) and vasopressin (AVP) are neuropeptides that govern the social-emotional functioning of humans. We contend that to fully understand their function, research should consider how they are flexibly fitted to maximize survival and reproduction given the variety of human experience. In a series of two studies, we show that early life stres...
Article
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In 8 studies, we examined the terror management function of self-sacrifice and the moderating role of attachment orientations. Studies 1-5 focused on readiness to self-sacrifice for a cause, whereas Studies 6-8 focused on self-sacrifice to save a relationship partner's life. In Studies 1-3 and 6, we examined whether mortality salience increases rea...
Chapter
Full-text available
Feeling good, enjoying positive relationships with others, and looking on the brighter side of life represent a mode of living that most people aspire to. Our emotion system, however, was not designed to provide us with such a blissful existence, but rather it is primarily concerned with keeping us safe and alive. The current chapter takes a critic...
Article
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The implementation of a peace agreement between adversarial parties often carries a price, such as the imposition of political change on a population that opposes the peace agreement. The current research employs a resistance to change perspective and focuses on Jewish settlers in the West Bank as a case example of reactions to potential imposed po...
Article
Full-text available
Death awareness leads to aversion from bodily processes such as breastfeeding and sex, especially among low body-esteem individuals. Using a Modality Bias Task we examined whether primes of death reduced attention to bodily sensations. We subliminally primed 72 undergraduates with either the word death or failed, and assessed their attention to tac...
Article
Lies and deceptions are prevalent in our daily lives, yet most people merely guess when attempting to distinguish between lies and truths. In the current research, we examined the validity of the saying that “it takes a thief to know a thief” by showing that it takes a good liar – one high in attachment insecurity – to detect another liar. In Study...
Article
Full-text available
Five studies examined defensive intergroup helping—when responsibility for an out-group victim’s injury decreases helping, whereas lack of responsibility increases helping when death is salient. In Study 1 (N = 350), implicit death primes increased petition signings to allow a Palestinian child to receive medical treatment in Israel, when the child...
Article
Full-text available
Three studies examined the effect of historical trauma reminders and criticism from international allies on attitudes toward current conflicts. In Study 1, Israeli participants (N = 116) were primed with the Holocaust, and read either that US President Obama supports Israel's right to defend itself and attack Iran, or that he opposes such action. T...
Article
Armed conflict necessitates the ability to quickly distinguish friend from foe. Failure to make accurate shooting decisions may result in harm either to oneself or to innocent others. The factors that predict such rapid decision making, however, remain unclear. Based on social defense theory, we contend that people high on attachment anxiety posses...
Article
Full-text available
Objective: People believe that they can respond effectively to threats, but actually experience difficulties in disengaging from ongoing tasks and shifting their attention to life-threatening events. We contend that this tendency is especially true for secure people with respect to their worldview and perception of others and not to insecure indiv...
Article
Full-text available
This research tested whether chronic or contextually activated Holocaust exposure is associated with more extreme political attitudes among Israeli Jews. Study 1 (N = 57), and Study 2 (N = 61) found that Holocaust primes increased support for aggressive policies against a current adversary and decreased support for political compromise via an ampli...
Article
Full-text available
Existential threat lies at the heart of intergroup conflict, but the literature on existential concerns lacks clear conceptualization and integration. To address this problem, we offer a new conceptualization and measurement of existential threat. We establish the reliability and validity of our measure, and to illustrate its utility, we examine wh...
Article
The current research examines how representations of a traumatic history influence contemporary intergroup attitudes. Specifically, we examine antisemitism in Hungary as a case example of how the need to defend the group's moral image motivates the assumption of a defensive representation of history − a modification of the group's narrative with re...
Article
Full-text available
Bowlby’s attachment theory has stimulated research covering a variety of topics related to individual and relational well-being, such as courtship, mate selection, motivations, emotional responses, cognitions, dreams, values, and psychopathology. This research has contributed greatly to the understanding of individual differences in mental health b...
Article
Full-text available
Past research has shown that attachment orientations shape sexual processes within relationships. Yet, little has been done to explore the opposite direction. In the present research, we examined whether sexual desire and emotional intimacy reduce attachment insecurities over time in emerging relationships. In an 8-month longitudinal study, we foll...
Article
Are groups superior to individuals in detecting lies, and are there certain personality traits that significantly contribute to a collective lie-detecting capability? In the current research, we compared the ability of small groups to detect deception compared with individuals, and further examined whether small groups comprising more members high...
Article
Seventy years have passed since the Holocaust, but this cataclysmic event continues to reverberate in the present. In this research we examine attributions about the causes of the Holocaust and the influence of such attributions on intergroup relations. Three representative surveys were conducted among Germans, Poles, and Israeli Jews to examine in...
Article
Full-text available
The current research examined the role of retributive justice and cost-benefit utility motivations in the process through which mortality salience increases support for violent responses to intergroup conflict. Specifically, previous research has shown that mortality salience often encourages political violence, especially when perceptions of retri...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
We present the design, implementation, and evaluation of a peripheral empathy-evoking robotic conversation companion, Kip1. The robot’s function is to increase people’s awareness to the effect of their behavior towards others, potentially leading to behavior change. Specifically, Kip1 is designed to promote non- aggressive conversation between peop...
Article
Full-text available
People often aspire for true love and committed romantic relationships. These relationships, however, are recurrently threatened by partner infidelity. The present research tested a new infidelity-detection model, the rivalry sensitivity hypothesis, that posits that women are more sensitive to cues of infidelity than men are, and tend to focus thei...
Article
Full-text available
Current approaches to humanizing members of an outgroup in contexts marked by protracted intergroup conflict see mixed success. In both Study 1, conducted on a random sample of Israeli Jews ( N = 103), and Study 2, conducted on a nationally diverse sample of Israeli Jews ( N = 670), we experimentally test the effect of a unique approach to humanizi...
Article
Full-text available
Terror management research indicates that mortality salience (MS) increases support for violent solutions to conflict. The current research examines, in 4 experimental studies, whether this effect is primarily affected by rational considerations of costs of benefits, or whether a retributive justice mindset overrides a utilitarian calculus. In Stud...
Article
Full-text available
Abstract This research examined virtual-human interactions as a new form of simulated contact between members of groups in conflict. A virtual human representing an outgroup member (a Palestinian) interacted with 60 Jewish Israeli participants in an experimental study. We manipulated postural mimicry by the virtual interaction partner during a conv...
Article
Full-text available
Objective: The authors examined whether priming thoughts of death are associated with increases in alcohol consumption. Method: Research assistants handed out fliers that were stacked in a random order to pedestrians walking through campus (N = 377). These fliers served to remind them of either their death or of an aversive condition unrelated t...
Article
Full-text available
This research examined whether perceptions of defeat instigate a motivation to retaliate and displace aggression toward an adversary’s affiliates. In Study 1, 147 Israeli participants were primed with perceptions of victory, defeat, or assigned to a neutral condition and then rated their willingness to wage war against a weak foe or a strong foe. P...
Article
Full-text available
We present an experimental method to assess the impact of world events on political attitudes. Building on cognitive priming research, we expose experimental groups to reminders of historical events and a control group to neutral pictures and captions. Attitudes of interest are assessed afterward. Differences between experimental and control groups...
Article
Full-text available
Romantic couples (N = 127) engaged in a relationship conflict interaction during which their autonomic physiology, emotional experience, and emotional behavior were recorded. Couples were assigned randomly to one of two interventions, or to a control condition: In the affective suppression condition, one partner was instructed to refrain from expre...
Article
Prosocial behavior accentuates the tension between two conflicting human motivations, self-interest and belongingness. Responding to the needs of others may compromise self-interest. Acting callously, however, may lead to social disproval. These antagonistic responses are existentially meaningful as belongingness and self-esteem have been found to...
Article
Full-text available
This study aimed to examine the relationship between perspective-taking and impaired decision-making in patients with ventromedial prefrontal (VM) lesions, using the Ultimatum Game (UG). In the UG, two players split a sum of money and one player proposes a division while the other can accept or reject this. Eight patients with VM damage and 18 heal...
Article
Full-text available
Three studies showed that focus on the shared human threat of global climate change can encourage peaceful coexistence and discourage support for war in the face of existential threat. In Study 1, mortality salience (MS) increased Americans’ support for international peace-building after imagining the consequences of global climate change, but not...
Article
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The transition to parenthood marks an important developmental stage in adult life, associated with unique challenges to the partners' conflict dialogue in the formation of the family unit. Utilizing a biobehavioral experimental design, we examined the potential positive effects of the infant on the couple's conflict discussion. One hundred forty ne...
Article
Full-text available
Research investigating the link between stress and sexual activity has been limited and the findings equivocal. We examined the stress–sexual activity link and the moderating effects of gender and relationship satisfaction using a daily diary methodology. Seventy-five heterosexual Israeli adults were asked in an initial session to report on their r...
Article
Full-text available
This study examined children’s psychological symptoms, particularly aggression, in the context of family characteristics, exposure to political violence, and nationality. We examined the association among Palestinian and Israeli children’s and mothers’ attachment (measured by self-report questionnaires), exposure to political violence, and psychopa...
Article
Full-text available
Four studies examined the impact of mortality salience (MS) on sexual motivation. In Studies 1–3, participants were primed with death-related thoughts and then rated their desire to engage in sex in different contexts. Study 4 included an assessment of reasons for engaging in sex. Results showed that MS increased the desire for romantic sex, regard...
Article
Full-text available
The conflict between Israel and its neighbors involves disagreements over concrete issues such as settlements, terrorism, and borders. In the current paper we argue that underlying these tangible issues are deep-seated existential concerns which fuel the conflict and stand in the way of reconciliation. We focus specifically on the unique mindset of...
Article
Terror management theory (TMT) posits that the denial of personal mortality is a central motivation underlying many human behaviors. According to TMT, reminders of death induce proximity-seeking with culturally-similar others. Recent studies have also shown that death reminders lead to emotional withdrawal from others who may remind people of their...