Increased Support for Political Compromise in the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict Following an 8-Week Mindfulness Workshop
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Mindfulness training has been shown to have a beneficial impact on emotions and perceptions. We examined whether it would reduce negative emotions and perceptions and lead to increased support for compromise in the context of prolonged intergroup conflict. We also examined the effect of an intervention that combines mindfulness with cognitive reappraisal, a method that enhances emotion regulation. Israeli students participated in a mindfulness course that either began in the winter semester (mindfulness group) or in the spring semester (control group). After the termination of the mindfulness course, all participants were invited to a laboratory session in which they were randomly assigned to either receive or not a short cognitive reappraisal training. The results showed that after being presented with anger-inducing information related to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, participants in the mindfulness condition only, the reappraisal condition only or the combined group (mindfulness and reappraisal), were more supportive of conciliatory policies compared to participants that received no mindfulness nor reappraisal training. The increased support for conciliatory policies was mediated by a decrease in negative emotions in all groups, while in the mindfulness group, it was also mediated by reduction in negative perceptions. The combined impact of mindfulness and reappraisal did not reveal any additional effect.
KeywordsMindfulness MBSR Emotion regulation Perceived threat Compromise Conflict Resolution Reconciliation Peace Reappraisal
We wish to thank Tamara Moshon, Alma Sifrim, and Eva Schonfeld for their assistance in data collection. This project was partially supported by the Mind & Life 1440 award and the Sagol Foundation.
AA designed and executed the study, assisted with the data analyses, and wrote the paper. EH collaborated with the design and writing of the study. RT analyzed the data and wrote part of the results. NLB collaborated with the design, assisted with data analyses and the writing of the study.
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Conflict of Interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
This work has been partially funded by the Sagol Foundation and by the 1440 Mind & Life award.
All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki Declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.
Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.
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