The present study explores whether power asymmetry moderates the impact of empathy gestures and spontaneous responsibility acknowledgment on out-group peers' collaborative behavior in deliberation of intergroup conflict. The study examined small group discussions among 107 Jewish and Arab Israeli adolescents who deliberated the issue of responsibility for the birth of the Palestinian refugee problem and its possible resolution. Perceptions and acknowledgments of in-group responsibility and gestures of empathy were coded, along with measures of collaborative interaction. Members of the stronger (Jewish) group tended to proceed from privately perceiving to openly acknowledging responsibility to a higher degree and frequency than did members of the weaker (Arab) group. Using an actor-partner interaction model, we demonstrate that acknowledgment of in-group responsibility by members of the stronger group was associated with collaborative behavior by members of the weaker group, but not vice versa. Empathy gestures had no significant effect on either side. Results indicated that power asymmetry moderated the effects of acknowledgment of responsibility. Findings expand the needs-based model of reconciliation to actual intergroup interaction, focused on conflict. They indicate both the challenge of spontaneous acknowledgment for the weaker group and the positive impact of acknowledgment by the stronger group.
Bibliographical notePublisher Copyright:
© 2017 American Psychological Association.
- Collective responsibility
- Conflict resolution
- Intergroup relations
- Need-based model of reconciliation
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Political Science and International Relations