Intergroup anger in intractable conflict: Long-term sentiments predict anger responses during the gaza war

Eran Halperin, James J. Gross

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Anger is one of the most common and destructive emotions in intergroup conflicts, frequently leading to an escalation of intergroup aggression. Prior research has focused on short-term antecedents of intergroup anger, typically using laboratory paradigms. We hypothesized that the long-term sentiment of anger (a broad predisposition that is unrelated to a particular action) would predict subsequent anger responses to provocation. We further hypothesized that this effect would be mediated by appraisals of unfairness of the Palestinians' behavior during the war--one of the core appraisal themes associated with anger. To test this prediction, we used a unique two-wave nationwide representative panel design (n = 501) conducted in Israel during the last war in Gaza. Results showed that the long-term sentiment of anger towards Palestinians (and not general negative affect), measured 13 months prior to the Gaza War, predicted participants' anger responses towards the Palestinians during the war. Furthermore, we found that the effects of long-term anger sentiments were mediated by the participants' current appraisals of unfairness Palestinian behavior.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)477-488
Number of pages12
JournalGroup Processes and Intergroup Relations
Issue number4
StatePublished - 11 Jul 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • anger
  • emotional sentiments
  • emotions
  • intergroup conflict

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Psychology
  • Cultural Studies
  • Communication
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Sociology and Political Science


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