The Relationship between Creativity and Attitudes toward Intergroup Conflicts

Nardine Fahoum, Hadas Pick, Shenhav Rainer, Dana Zoabi, Shihui Han, Simone Shamay-Tsoory

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The maintenance and escalation of intergroup conflicts have been explained by negative emotions and attitudes toward outgroup members. Considering that creative cognition entails the ability to generate diverse and new ideas, we sought to investigate whether creativity may contribute to overcoming negative emotions and attitudes associated with intergroup conflicts. Therefore, we examined whether individual differences in creativity predict conflict-related emotions and attitudes in the context of the Israeli–Palestinian conflict. To that end, we recruited Israeli Jews and Israeli Arabs who identify themselves as Palestinian and administered the Torrance task of divergent thinking to assess the levels of originality and flexibility of participants. We also measured outgroup-targeted emotions and attitudes toward the conflict. Results indicate that participants who demonstrate higher levels of original thinking, on average, reported higher levels of positive emotions toward outgroup members and were more supportive of conciliatory attitudes toward the conflict. Moreover, these associations were more evident among Israelis than among Palestinians. Finally, a mediation analysis demonstrated that originality predicts conciliatory attitudes through an increase in positive emotions and a decrease in negative emotions toward outgroup members. This relationship was not moderated by nationality. These findings suggest that interventions based on creativity training may be beneficial to encourage reconciliation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)268-284
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Creative Behavior
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 The Authors. The Journal of Creative Behavior published by Wiley Periodicals LLC on behalf of Creative Education Foundation (CEF).


  • attitudes
  • creativity
  • divergent thinking
  • intergroup conflicts
  • outgroup-targeted emotions

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Visual Arts and Performing Arts


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