A Social-Psychological Perspective on the Proximate Causation of Peaceful Behavior

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Summary This chapter presents social-psychological research on interpersonal and intergroup reconciliation, conducted using the conceptual framework of the Needs-Based Model. According to this model, conflicts threaten victims' sense of agency and perpetrators' moral image. Consequently, victims and perpetrators are strongly motivated to restore their positive identities. The chapter reviews empirical evidence which suggests that when victims feel empowered and perpetrators feel morally accepted, they are more likely to reconcile. It also presents research that applies the Needs-Based Model to contexts where both sides transgress against each other yet identify as the conflict's “real” victim and points to strategies to overcome this dynamic. Finally, the chapter discusses the implications of the model for the theory and practice of peaceful systems and behavior.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPeace Ethology
EditorsPeter Verbeek, Benjamin A. Peters
Number of pages20
ISBN (Electronic)9781118922545
StatePublished - 2018


  • agency
  • competitive victimhood
  • dual conflicts
  • morality
  • perpetrators
  • reconciliation
  • the Needs-Based Model
  • victims


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