Promoting reconciliation through the satisfaction of the emotional needs of victimized and perpetrating group members: the needs-based model of reconciliation

Pers Soc Psychol Bull. 2009 Aug;35(8):1021-30. doi: 10.1177/0146167209336610. Epub 2009 Jun 4.


Guided by the Needs-Based Model of Reconciliation, we hypothesized that being a member of a victimized group would be associated with a threat to the status and power of one's ingroup, whereas being a member of a perpetrating group would threaten the image of the ingroup as moral and socially acceptable. A social exchange interaction through which victims feel empowered by their perpetrators and perpetrators feel accepted by their victims was thus predicted to enhance the parties' willingness to reconcile. Supporting the predictions across two experiments, members of the perpetrator group (Jews in Study 1 and Germans in Study 2) showed greater willingness to reconcile when they received a message of acceptance, rather than empowerment, from a member of the victimized group. Members of the victimized group (Arabs in Study 1 and Jews in Study 2) demonstrated the opposite effect. Applied and theoretical implications of these results are discussed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Arabs / psychology
  • Civil Disorders / ethnology
  • Civil Disorders / psychology*
  • Conflict, Psychological*
  • Crime Victims / psychology*
  • Dominance-Subordination*
  • Emotions*
  • Germany / ethnology
  • Homicide / psychology
  • Humans
  • Interpersonal Relations*
  • Israel
  • Jews / psychology
  • Models, Psychological
  • Moral Obligations*
  • Motivation
  • Power, Psychological*
  • Prejudice*
  • Social Desirability*
  • Social Identification*
  • Social Justice