Published: 02 May 2017

Hope comes in many forms

Recent publication by Smadar Cohen-Chen of the Department of People and Organisations at Surrey Business School. 

Cohen-Chen, S., Crisp, R. J., & Halperin, E. (2017). Hope comes in many forms: Outgroup expressions of hope override low support and promote reconciliation in conflicts. Social Psychological and Personality Science, 8, 153-161. Read Online


In conflicts, political attitudes are based to some extent on the perception of the out-group as sharing the goal of peace and supporting steps to achieve it. However, intractable conflicts are characterized by inconsistent and negative interactions, which prevent clear messages of out-group support. This problem calls for alternative ways to convey support between groups in conflict. One such method is emotional expressions. The current research tested whether, in the absence of out-group support for peace, observing expressions of out-group hope induces conciliatory attitudes. Results from two experimental studies, conducted within the Israeli–Palestinian conflict, revealed support for this hypothesis. Expressions of Palestinian hope induced acceptance of a peace agreement through Israeli hope and positive perceptions of the proposal when out-group support expressions were low. Findings demonstrate the importance of hope as a means of conveying information within processes of conflict resolution, overriding messages of low out-group support for peace.



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