Current Specific Research Projects

Testing compassion as a new emotion regulation strategy for promoting conflict resolution


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Patricia Cernadas - FNS

In these situations, emotions emerge and impact the conflict issue (Halperin, 2015). As emotions can be changed through emotional regulation (Gross, 1998), research supports a beneficial role of cognitive reappraisal, an emotion regulation strategy, in conflict resolution (Halperin, 2015). Another key strategy for regulating emotions is feeling compassion for others (Engen & Singer, 2015). Compassion has been shown to be beneficial for promoting interpersonal behavior in non-conflictual situations (e.g., Leiberg, Klimecki, & Singer, 2011). However, to the best of our knowledge, the impact of compassion training has not been studied in the context of conflict resolution yet. The purpose of this project is thus to evaluate how compassion training can promote conflict resolution and to compare the impact of compassion training and reappraisal training on conflict resolution. In order to maximize ecological validity, we will conduct four studies in a variety of situations, ranging from interpersonal conflicts with another person and conflicts in romantic couples to intergroup conflicts in Switzerland and Israel. The project long-term aim is to contribute to a better understanding of emotion in conflict-related processes in psychological science and to inspire the development of evidence-based interventions for conflict resolution.

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