Emotion Regulation and the Cultivation of Political Tolerance: Searching for a New Track for Intervention
39 Pages Posted: 1 Aug 2011 Last revised: 11 Aug 2011
Date Written: 2011
The goal of the current project is to integrate psychological research on emotion regulation with the study of democratic practices in general and political intolerance in particular. We hypothesized that use of a well-established emotion regulation strategy, cognitive reappraisal, would be associated with lower levels of group-based negative emotions towards one's least-liked group, and lower levels of political intolerance towards that group. In Study 1, we found that the tendency to reappraise negative emotions during war was associated with less intolerant attitudes . In Studies 2 and 3, we experimentally manipulated reappraisal, and this led to reduced levels of political intolerance towards Palestinian Citizens of Israel (Study 2) and towards one’s most disliked group (Study 3). These effects were mediated through a decrease in negative emotions in both studies, as well as by an increase in support for general democratic values in Study 3.
Keywords: emotion regulation, reappraisal, intolerance, democratic values
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