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Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Year Degree Awarded
Month Degree Awarded
Quantitative Psychology | Social and Behavioral Sciences | Social Psychology
As time distances people from moral transgressions, do affected parties experience a lingering need for addressing the past, or does the need gradually fade away over time? Do people perceive time differently depending on whether the ingroup has committed or suffered the transgression? In two different intergroup contexts, we investigate the role of temporal distance in attitudes toward justice and reconciliation after moral transgressions from the perspectives of both victim and perpetrator groups. In the context of the conflict between Serbs and Bosniaks, Study 1 showed that temporal distance from intergroup transgressions predicted different reactions to the transgression between victim and perpetrator groups. Whereas increased subjective temporal distance predicted more opposition to justice and reconciliation efforts via reduced empathy for outgroup members among the perpetrator group, it predicted more willingness to forgo justice and reconcile via increased empathy for outgroup members among the victim group. Study 1 also demonstrated another type of temporal asymmetry between victim and perpetrator groups. Compared to Serbs, the primary perpetrator group in the conflict, Bosniaks perceived the war as temporally closer. In the context of the conflict between the U.S. and Iran, Study 2 provided a partial conceptual replication of Study 1, and further explored the moderating role of ingroup glorification. Whereas high glorifiers perceived the transgression as temporally closer when the ingroup is the victim than the perpetrator, low glorifiers reacted in the exact opposite manner, perceiving the transgression as more distant when the ingroup was the perpetrator than when it was the victim. These divergent perceptions of time further yielded victim and perpetrator group members’ different attitudes toward justice and reconciliation. Study 3 further established the causal relationships between temporal distance and attitudes toward justice and reconciliation via empathy, again moderated by glorification. The implications for post-conflict peacebuilding are discussed.
Li, Mengyao, "Close or Distant Past? The Role of Temporal Distance in Responses to Intergroup Violence from Victim and Perpetrator Perspectives" (2017). Doctoral Dissertations. 920.