Fostering Trust and Forgiveness Through the Acknowledgment of Others’ Past Victimization
Department of Educational Sciences, University of Genova, Genova, Italy
The Academic College of Tel Aviv Yaffo, Tel Aviv, Israel
Department of Psychology, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv, Israel
The present work examines the acknowledgment of past ingroup victimization by adversary outgroup leaders as an effective means to promote intergroup trust. More specifically, through an experimental study we demonstrated that Israeli-Jewish participants who were exposed to Palestinian leaders’ messages acknowledging the Jews’ suffering from anti-Semitic persecutions (past victimization condition) displayed more trust toward outgroup leaders than participants who were exposed to messages acknowledging the Jews’ sufferings from the ongoing conflict (present victimization condition) and participants who were exposed to a control message condition. Further, trust mediated the relationship between acknowledgment of past victimization by rivals and forgiveness toward the outgroup as a whole. The implications of these results for restoring fractured intergroup relations are discussed.