Promoting intergroup forgiveness: The benefits and pitfalls of apologies and invocations of shared humanity (2010–2012)
Even after an intergroup conflict ends, the legacy of destruction can lay the seeds for future conflicts. This cycle can be broken if the different parties decide not only to negotiate but also to forgive. The proposed research will critically examine two strategies for facilitating intergroup forgiveness: (1) the delivery of intergroup apologies, and (2) the invoking of a shared human identity. The studies examine not just when and why they work, but when and why they might be expected to backfire. As such, the project will make significant advances in social psychological theorizing about the pre-conditions for intergroup forgiveness. The studies will also help identify specific, concrete strategies for promoting reconciliation.