The research addressed the possible association between distress and the Ethos of Conflict (EOC), a system of shared beliefs that characterizes societies involved in intractable conflicts. It is argued that the EOC may assist processes of coping with distress and therefore will be activated in times of distress. Three studies were conducted with samples of Israeli Jews, who are involved in an intractable conflict with the Palestinians. Studies 1a and 1b demonstrated that conditions of high (vs. low) distress, either related or unrelated to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, increased EOC activation but not self-reported EOC adherence. Study 2 demonstrated that the activation of the EOC under distress facilitated processing of EOC-consistent information and hindered processing of EOC-contradicting information. The findings are consistent with the notion that the EOC may play a role in coping with distress, but this association may pose a barrier to peaceful conflict resolution.
- Intractable conflict
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Social Psychology
- Sociology and Political Science