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Personality dimensions and attitudes towards peace and war

Herbert H. Blumberg (Department of Psychology, Goldsmiths, University of London, London, UK)
Ruth Zeligman (Department of Psychological Sciences, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv, Israel)
Liat Appel (Department of Psychological Sciences, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv, Israel)
Shira Tibon-Czopp (Department of Psychology, Goldsmiths, University of London, London, UK)

Journal of Aggression, Conflict and Peace Research

ISSN: 1759-6599

Article publication date: 9 January 2017

449

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the relationship between major personality dimensions and attitudes towards peace and war.

Design/methodology/approach

Three samples – two consisting of British psychology students (n=64 and 121) and one of Israeli students (n=80), responded to measures of some or all of: five-factor inventory, SYMLOG trait form, general survey including authoritarianism; attitudes towards peace and war; specific attitudes towards peace and war policy.

Findings

The general attitude measures were associated with the specific attitudes. Both were associated with authoritarianism but not consistently with other personality dimensions.

Research limitations/implications

Descriptive findings might not generalize and need contextualization. Authoritarianism should be measured in any studies of attitudes related to peace, war, conflict, and structural violence.

Practical implications

Practitioners of peace education may first need to address high authoritarianism and low integrative complexity. Also, countering structural violence related, for instance, to poverty or prejudice/discrimination may require a comprehensive approach including collaborative work with clinical psychologists applying both implicit and explicit assessment tools.

Originality/value

Documenting links (and lack of them) among personality variables and attitudes towards peace and war has practical and theoretical value – and may contribute to organizational schemes shaped by personality structure and bearing implications for negotiations. In terms of a paradigm by Morton Deutsch, our results show individual differences in, and associations among, variables relating to the remediable likelihood of parties being differentially likely to find themselves in negatively vs. positively interdependent situations; and carrying out effective instead of “bungling” actions.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The authors would like to thank Joanna Britton and Petra Hajdu for their helpful comments on an earlier version of this paper. The authors also thank Ohad Rosen for collecting most of the Israeli data. The present paper is based in part on a paper presented by Blumberg et al. (2015) prior to collection of the 2015-2016 data covered in the present paper. Readers wishing to use the scales measuring attitudes towards peace and war should contact Boris Bizumic: boris.bizumic@anu.edu.au

Citation

Blumberg, H.H., Zeligman, R., Appel, L. and Tibon-Czopp, S. (2017), "Personality dimensions and attitudes towards peace and war", Journal of Aggression, Conflict and Peace Research, Vol. 9 No. 1, pp. 13-23. https://doi.org/10.1108/JACPR-05-2016-0231

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2017, Emerald Publishing Limited

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