Scientific article
Open access

Overcoming negative reactions to prosocial intergroup behaviors in post-conflict societies: the power of intergroup apology

Published inJournal of experimental social psychology, vol. 95, 104140
Publication date2021-07

In post-conflict societies, individuals often respond negatively to the prosocial behaviors of their former opponents. To identify forms of intergroup apology that facilitate positive reactions to offers of intergroup help, three experiments (N = 698) were conducted in the post-conflict context of Kosovo that involved offering help to participants following their exposure to different types of apologies for past misconduct. The results indicated that participants attributed greater prosocial motives to offers of help from an outgroup member (i.e., former opponent) and were more willing to accept such help when an outgroup member issued the apology (i.e., interpersonal apology) or when outgroup members supported the apology (i.e., normatively supported or normative apology) than when offered by an institution, when rejected by the majority of outgroup members, or when no information about the apology was provided. Beyond that, participants felt more at peace with the outgroup and were more willing to interact with outgroup members following apologies in the interpersonal and normative apology conditions than in the other experimental conditions. Overall, the participants' willingness to humanize outgroup members explained the observed effects. This article discusses the theoretical and practical implications of these findings for intergroup help and literature on intergroup relations.

  • Altruistic motive
  • Empathy
  • Intergroup apology
  • Misperception
  • Outgroup humanization
  • Positive contact
  • Prosocial behavior
  • European Commission: Swiss Federal Commission for Scholarships for Foreign Students -
Citation (ISO format)
BORINCA, Islam et al. Overcoming negative reactions to prosocial intergroup behaviors in post-conflict societies: the power of intergroup apology. In: Journal of experimental social psychology, 2021, vol. 95, p. 104140. doi: 10.1016/j.jesp.2021.104140
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ISSN of the journal0022-1031

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Creation10/18/2021 9:45:00 AM
First validation10/18/2021 9:45:00 AM
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