The two-sided role of inclusive victimhood for intergroup reconciliation: Evidence from Northern Ireland
Inclusive victim beliefs (i.e., perceived similarity with other victim groups worldwide) can have positive effects on intergroup relations. However, there may be limitations to these seemingly constructive construals. We investigated in the Northern Irish context whether inclusive victimhood might sometimes also act as an obstacle to intergroup reconciliation. In Study 1, we found that inclusive victimhood can go along with either high or low competitive victimhood and, in turn, with lesser versus greater willingness for reconciliation, respectively. In Study 2, we asked participants which groups they thought about when responding to inclusive victimhood items, coding whether answers suggested a universal or a selective inclusivity. This type of inclusivity moderated the relationships between inclusive victimhood and readiness for reconciliation: Inclusive victimhood correlated positively with intergroup forgiveness when based on a universal notion of inclusivity, and tended to correlate positively with competitive victimhood when based on a selective notion of inclusivity. These results extend the emerging literature on collective victim beliefs and suggest that expressing shared victimization with other groups may be used strategically to strengthen the ingroup's position in an intergroup conflict, which might act as an obstacle to intergroup reconciliation.
Peace and Conflict
collective victimhood, forgiveness, intergroup conflict, intergroup reconciliation, Northern Ireland
Christopher Cohrs, J.; McNeill, Andrew; and Vollhardt, Johanna Ray, "The two-sided role of inclusive victimhood for intergroup reconciliation: Evidence from Northern Ireland" (2015). Psychology. 655.