Perceiving intergroup conflict: From game models to mental templates

Nir Halevy, Lilach Sagiv, Sonia Roccas, Gary Bornstein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article puts forward a parsimonious framework for studying subjective perceptions of real-life intergroup conflicts. Four studies were conducted to explore how individuals perceive the strategic properties of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Studies 1 and 2 found theory-driven associations between people's subjective perception of the conflict's structure as a Chicken, Assurance, or Prisoner's Dilemma game and their ingroup/outgroup perceptions, national identification, religiosity, political partisanship, voting behavior, and right-wing authoritarianism. Studies 3 and 4 manipulated the saliency of the needs for cognitive closure and security, respectively, demonstrating that these needs affect people's endorsement of the game models as descriptions of the conflict.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1674-1689
Number of pages16
JournalPersonality and Social Psychology Bulletin
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2006


  • Intergroup conflict
  • Mental representation
  • Mixed-motive games


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