Meaning threat can promote peaceful, not only military-based approaches to intergroup conflict: The moderating role of ingroup glorification

Daniel R. Rovenpor, Bernhard Leidner, Peter Kardos, Thomas C. O'Brien

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


Most research on threat documents its negative consequences. Similarly, most research on intergroup contexts has emphasized their negative behavioral effects. Drawing on the Meaning Maintenance Model and recent perspectives on the potential for positivity in intergroup conflict, we predicted that meaning threat can produce both antisocial and prosocial responses to intergroup conflict, depending on people's preexisting meaning frameworks. Studies 1 and 2 demonstrated that under meaning threat, low ingroup glorifiers strengthened their support for peaceful conflict resolution, whereas high ingroup glorifiers strengthened their support for military‐based conflict resolution. In the context of the Israel–Palestinian conflict, Study 3 found that low glorification was associated with greater support for peace during “hot” (but not “cold”) conflict, because hot conflict reduced their meaning in life. These findings are consistent with the notion that when meaning is threatened, people affirm their preexisting values—whether prosocial or antisocial—even in the context of intergroup conflict.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)544-562
JournalEuropean Journal of Social Psychology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2016

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