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Extending the Needs-Based Model of Reconciliation to ambivalent contexts: The emotional needs of adversaries who simultaneously serve as both victims and perpetrators


"The Needs-Based Model of Reconciliation (NBMR) is an innovative perspective on reconciliation suggesting that following a transgression, victims are motivated to restore their sense of power (i.e. reassurance of their status, rights and respect), whereas perpetrators are motivated to reassure their acceptance to the moral community from which they feel potentially excluded. Empirical evidence shows that satisfying the emotional needs of victims and perpetrators through a reciprocal exchange of messages (i.e. messages expressing empowerment and acceptance, respectively) promoted parties’ willingness to reconcile. Yet this evidence was obtained in interpersonal and intergroup contexts where the social roles of ""victims"" and ""perpetrators"" were clear-cut and consensual (e.g. the Holocaust); the proposed research aims to extend the NBMR to ""ambivalent contexts"" in which the same person or group both victimized and was victimized by its adversary. Using three different contexts of mutual transgressions (interpersonal, minimal groups and natural groups), experiments 1-3 will examine whether individuals or group members who experience ambivalence regarding their social role (victims or perpetrators) consequently experience enhanced needs for both empowerment and acceptance and show amplified retaliatory and helping behavior. Experiments 4-6 will use the same transgression contexts to examine the effects of exchanging empowering or accepting messages on the facilitation of reconciliation. Theoretically, the proposed research will integrate the literatures on reconciliation and ambivalence to illuminate individuals' and groups' behavioral tendencies and emotional needs in ambivalent contexts and demonstrate how satisfying these needs may promote reconciliation. It will thus allow the implementation of the NBMR to a wider range of contexts, including intractable conflicts. Practically, it may help to plan effective messages and interventions to facilitate interpersonal and"

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Ramat Aviv
69978 Tel Aviv

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Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Administrative Contact
Lea Pais (Ms.)
EU contribution
€ 100 000