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Promoting Peace Process by Changing Beliefs - Prof. Eran Halperin

interstate conflicts tend to be viewed

as intractable but what if we told you

that the biggest problem in every

conflict is our belief that it is

impossible to change the character of

the groups involved research conducted

at burrow futures school of psychology

at IDC Herzliya and the Department of

Psychology at Stanford University offers

a different way of looking at conflicts

earlier studies led by Stanford

professor Carol Dweck and found that

people who believe that our actions and

attitudes do not change see other people

in a more stereotypic way and prefer to

punish rather than negotiate on the

other hand people who believe that

action patterns are dynamic and changing

and that actions and attitudes stem from

circumstances tend to seek a path of

dialogue that is if you don't believe

the other side will ever change why

compromise even if it might be in your

own interest this applies both to

interstate conflicts and interpersonal

conflicts the researchers at IDC

Herzliya and Stanford studied the

israeli-palestinian conflict in a series

of experiments Israeli and Palestinian

participants were asked to read an

article describing how even the most

violent and racist groups changed over

time there was no reference to the

israeli-palestinian conflict or the

Mideast

later the researchers measured the

change in the participants attitude

towards compromise the participants who

learn that groups can change

dramatically change their own

willingness to compromise they came to

believe that compromise could change the

behavior of the other group and thus

promote their own objectives

since the belief in a group's ability to

change has an enormous impact on

people's readiness to compromise

psychology can play a very significant

role in resolving difficult conflicts

here the highly-charged midis conflict

was not mentioned and this enabled the

change in attitudes without stirring

resistance so perhaps the mechanism of

changing the belief in the possibility

of change could lead to less enmity

between the groups and a readiness to

compromise