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Can we forgive a militant outgroup member?: The role of perspective-taking




Whereas previous research has commonly studied the effects of perspective-taking for harmless targets, we examined whether the effect of perspective-taking might extend to a violent outgroup target. That is, our target not only held members of the adversary group responsible for his plight but also issued a severe threat to them (suicide bombing). We report findings from two studies that were conducted within the intergroup relations between Israelis and Palestinians, defined by a prolonged and violent conflict. Study 1 found that perspective-taking with a radicalised and threatening Palestinian target could successfully be induced among Israeli participants and as a result led to their improved motivation to forgive the target. Study 2 directly manipulated threat in addition to perspective-taking. Irrespective of the presence of threat, perspective-taking led to improved motivation to forgive the target as well as to increased interpersonal liking for the target. Increased liking mediated fully the effect of perspective-taking on forgiveness. Theoretical and practical implications of this research are discussed.


Noor. (2018). Can we forgive a militant outgroup member?: The role of perspective-taking. Asian Journal of Social Psychology, 246-255.

Acceptance Date May 7, 2018
Publication Date Dec 1, 2018
Journal Asian Journal of Social Psychology
Print ISSN 1367-2223
Publisher Wiley
Pages 246-255
Keywords Perspective-taking, threat, forgiveness, interpersonal liking, intergroup conflict
Publisher URL