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J Pers Soc Psychol. 2011 Aug;101(2):256-70. doi: 10.1037/a0023936.

Affirmation, acknowledgment of in-group responsibility, group-based guilt, and support for reparative measures.

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Department of Political Science and International Relations, Sarajevo School of Science and Technology, Bistrik 7, 71000 Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina.


Three studies, 2 conducted in Israel and 1 conducted in Bosnia and Herzegovina, demonstrated that affirming a positive aspect of the self can increase one's willingness to acknowledge in-group responsibility for wrongdoing against others, express feelings of group-based guilt, and consequently provide greater support for reparation policies. By contrast, affirming one's group, although similarly boosting feelings of pride, failed to increase willingness to acknowledge and redress in-group wrongdoing. Studies 2 and 3 demonstrated the mediating role of group-based guilt. That is, increased acknowledgment of in-group responsibility for out-group victimization produced increased feelings of guilt, which in turn increased support for reparation policies to the victimized group. Theoretical and applied implications are discussed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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