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EASP – European Association of Social Psychology

Preliminary Collaborative Research Grant Report by Luca Andrighetto

10.02.2020, by Tina Keil in grant report

Principal Investigator: Luca Andrighetto, Phd

From left: Arie Nadler, Nebojsa Petrovic, Luca Andrighetto, Ankika Kosic, Samer Halabi
From left: Arie Nadler, Nebojsa Petrovic, Luca Andrighetto, Ankika Kosic, Samer Halabi

Project title: Acknowledgment of Chosen Trauma and Intergroup Reconciliation

Starting from September 2019 and with the great support of the EASP, we consolidated a research network aimed at cross-culturally investigating the effects of the acknowledgement of chosen trauma (Volkan, 1997) on ameliorating conflictual intergroup relations. Our research team is composed by scholars coming from different countries and with a great expertise on the field of intergroup reconciliation: Nebojsa Petrovic (University of Beograd), Ankika Kosic (University of Roma La Sapienza), Arie Nadler (Tel-Aviv University), Samer Halabi (Tel-Aviv Jaffo College) and Luca Andrighetto (University of Genova).

On November 2019, we met together at Rome and we have been wonderfully hosted by Ankika (thanks again!) at her Department. During the two-days meeting, we first resumed and discussed the main findings emerged from our preliminary set of studies, in which we empirically explored whether an institutional acknowledgment by an outgroup representative of the ingroup’s chosen trauma (i.e., Nakba for Palestinians, Kosovo-Poljie for Serbs and Holocaust for Israeli-Jews) would indeed increase (and at what extent) intergroup trust and conciliatory attitudes toward the rival members. Then, during this meeting, we got a shared understanding about the theoretical rationale, methods and materials featuring the following main set of studies. These studies aim at representing a meaningful progress about the first ones, as we would like to study the interactive effects of the institutional acknowledgement of chosen trauma and its simultaneous denial by the majority of outgroup members on ingroup’s reconciliation tendencies. At this stage, we are setting up the experimental material for these main studies, that will verify our main hypotheses in a cross-cultural perspective, by considering two main contexts (i.e., Middle-East and Balkans) and different ingroup members (i.e., Israeli-Jews, Palestinians, Serbians and Bosnians). We expect to start the data collection within next March and to complete it within May.

Overall, we conceive these studies as a first step toward a more comprehensive understanding about the role of CT and its acknowledgement in present day relations. That is, we wish that the present EASP collaborative research grant will favour an enduring and fruitful collaboration between our research units around this topic, that could hopefully lead to a subsequent greater funding from other sources, such as the COST actions funded by European Union.