Leadership, Influence and Decision Making


Thursday, November 12, 2020, 4:00pm to 5:15pm


Leadership, Influence and Decision Making

This speaker series provides an opportunity for scholars to share and learn about cutting edge research related to the topic of leadership, broadly defined.

4:00-5:15 P.M.
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"When 'Enemies' Become Close: Relationship Formation Among Palestinians and Jewish Israelis at a Youth Camp"

Having close relationships with outgroup members is an especially powerful form of intergroup contact that can reduce prejudice. Rather than examine the consequences of forming close outgroup relationships, which has previously been studied as part of intergroup contact theory, we examine how outgroup relationships—relative to ingroup relationships—form in the first place. We collected 7 years of data from Jewish Israeli and Palestinian teenagers attending a 3-week summer camp at Seeds of Peace, one of the largest conflict transformation programs in the world. We tested how being assigned to share an activity group (e.g., bunk, table, dialogue group) influenced relationship formation among outgroup pairs (Jewish Israeli–Palestinian) compared with ingroup pairs (Israeli–Israeli, Palestinian–Palestinian).

Existing research offers competing theories for whether propinquity is more impactful for the formation of ingroup or outgroup relationships; here, we found propinquity was significantly more impactful for outgroup relationships. Whereas 2 ingroup participants were 4.46 times more likely to become close if they were in the same versus different bunk, for example, 2 outgroup participants were 11.72 times more likely to become close. We propose that sharing an activity group is especially powerful for more dissimilar dyads because people are less likely to spontaneously engage with outgroup members in ways that promote relationships. Thus, structured, meaningful engagement can counteract homophily. Furthermore, in this setting, propinquity proved to be an even better predictor of outgroup (vs. ingroup) relationship formation than that pair’s initial outgroup attitudes. We discuss theoretical and practical implications for intergroup processes and relationship formation.

RSVP by 12:00 PM ET on Thursday, 11/12.
Jane L. Risen conducts research in the areas of judgment and decision making, intuitive belief formation, magical thinking, stereotyping and prejudice, and managing emotion.

Her research has appeared in several notable publications, including "Looking Forward to Looking Backward: The Misprediction of Regret" with D. T. Gilbert, C. K. Morewedge, and T. D. Wilson in Psychological Science; " Why People Are Reluctant to Tempt Fate," with T. Gilovich in Journal of Personality and Social Psychology,; "How Choice Affects and Reflects Preferences: Revisiting the Free-Choice Paradigm," with K. Chen in Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, "Visceral Fit: While in a Visceral State, Associated States of the World Seem More Likely," with C. Critcher in Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, and “Believing What We Don’t Believe: Acquiescence to Superstitious Beliefs and Other Powerful Intuitions in Psychological Review.

Risen's research has been featured in the New York Times Washington Post, the APA Monitor, and Psychology Today." She is a member of the American Psychological Society, Midwestern Psychological Association, and Society for Personality and Social Psychology.