Intractable conflicts are one of the gravest challenges to both humanity and science. These conflicts are initiated and perpetuated by people; therefore changing people's hearts and minds constitutes a huge step towards resolution. Research on emotions in conflicts has led to the realization that intergroup emotions are critical to conflict dynamics. This project’s intrinsic question is whether and how intergroup emotions can be regulated to alter attitudes and behavior towards peace. I offer an innovative path, using two strategies of emotion regulation. The first is Direct Emotion Regulation, where traditional, effective emotion regulation strategies can be used to change intergroup emotional experiences and subsequently political positions in conflict situations. The second, Indirect Emotion Regulation, serves to implicitly alter concrete cognitive appraisals, thus changing attitudes by changing discrete emotions. This is the first attempt ever to integrate psychological aggregated knowledge on emotion regulation with conflict resolution. I propose 16 studies, conducted in the context of the intractable Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Seven studies will focus on direct emotion regulation, reducing intergroup anger and hatred, while 9 studies will focus on indirect regulation, aspiring to reduce fear and despair. In both paths, correlational and in-lab experimental studies will be used to refine adequate strategies of down regulating destructive emotions, the results of which will be used to develop innovative, theory-driven education and media interventions that will be tested utilizing wide scale experience sampling methodology. This project aspires to bridge the gap between basic and applied science, creating a pioneering, interdisciplinary framework which contributes to existing knowledge on emotion regulation in conflict and implements ways to apply it in real-world circumstances.
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