Intergroup helping in response to separatism

E. van Leeuwen, A. Mashuri, A. Mashuri

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    Despite its prevalence and widespread media coverage, separatism as a phenomenon is barely covered in psychological investigations, and the majority's response to separatism has been completely ignored. We present two studies in which we investigated the notion that separatist movements threaten the continuation of the national identity, as well as the nation's economic position. Moreover, we hypothesized and found that members of the majority group respond to continuation threat by supporting government measures to help the separatist group. Javanese students who were induced to believe that existing separatist movements in West Papua (Study 1, N = 322) or Aceh (Study 2, N = 180) were currently increasing their efforts to gain independence were more willing to support these groups than participants who believed these movements were dormant. Moreover, this effect was mediated by continuation threat but not economic threat. These results demonstrate the possibility of a peaceful response to separatism threat. © 2013 by the Society for Personality and Social Psychology, Inc.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1647-1655
    JournalPersonality and Social Psychology Bulletin
    Issue number12
    Publication statusPublished - 2013


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