Remember your crimes: How an appeal to ingroup wrongdoings fosters reconciliation in separatist conflict

Ali Mashuri*, Esther van Leeuwen, Mark van Vugt

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticle


The aim of this study was to compare the effectiveness of appeals to ingroup wrongdoings, as opposed to ingroup rightdoings, on reconciliation between groups in a real-world conflict. We conducted an experiment in Indonesia, where separatist conflict in the province West Papua is currently unresolved. Participants were a sample of Javanese residents (N = 502), representing the majority group in Indonesia. Compared to ingroup rightdoings, being reminded of ingroup wrongdoings significantly increased participants’ sense of perpetratorhood. These feelings of being a perpetrator in turn fostered participants’ reconciliatory attitudes towards the separatist group. These findings reveal that an appeal to ingroup wrongdoings can be effective in promoting intergroup reconciliation. In addition to theoretical implications, we discuss practical implications in terms of highlighting the importance of acknowledging ingroup wrongdoings as part of an intervention programme.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)815-833
Number of pages19
JournalBritish Journal of Social Psychology
Issue number4
Early online date20 Jun 2018
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2018



  • perpetratorhood
  • reconciliation
  • rightdoings
  • separatist conflict
  • wrongdoings

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