Publications by Type: Journal Article


Genuine peace between Israelis and Palestinians requires mutual acknowledgment of each people’s right to political expression of its national identity within the land they both claim. Negotiations must focus, therefore, on developing a formula for sharing the land. Furthermore, since most Palestinians perceive the PLO as their legitimate representative, only it – or some agency directly deriving legitimacy from it – has the capacity to negotiate an agreement that will elicit widespread acceptance and commitment among Palestinians.

In light of these two assumptions, the PLO leadership’s potential readiness for peace becomes critical to the success of negotiations. This article argues that the PLO under Arafat’s leadership has signaled such readiness, and it discusses political and psychological reasons for the continuing ambiguity and inconsistency of these signals. Analysis of Arafat’s cognitive style and image of the enemy, as revealed in two lengthy conversations with the author, reinforces the hypothesis that he has the capacity and will negotiate an agreement with Israel, based on mutual recognition and peaceful coexistence, if offered necessary incentives and reassurances. This article discusses methodological questions raised by the analysis and concludes with recommendations for testing the hypothesis derived from the analysis through the policy process.

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Depending on our tastes and definitions, we can take quite divergent views on what constitutes the beginnings of peace research. The range of possible dates becomes narrower when we think of the beginnings of peace research movement. I refer here to deliberate, organized efforts to mobilize the resources of different disciplines – especially, but not exclusively, the mathematical models and quantitative methods developed in the social sciences – for studying the conditions of peace and war. Even the beginnings of the peace research movement, however, cannot be dated precisely, since it is in the very nature of a movement that similar ideas and activities spring up almost simultaneously in different places and under different guises.

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Kelman, Herbert C. 1980. “The Role of Action in Attitude Change.” University of Nebraska Press. University of Nebraska Press. Publisher's Version Abstract

The relationship of action to attitude change has been a central and recurrent theme in my work ever since my doctoral dissertation (Kelman, 1953). I have written several theoretical papers on this issue over the years (Kelman, 1962a, 1974a, 1974b, 1978), and during the 1960s several colleagues and I were engaged in an experimental program on the relationship of discrepant action and attitude change. Some of the results of this program are described in Kelman and Baron (1974), but most of the experiments are still unpublished. The relationship between action and attitude change has also entered importantly into my work in various applied contexts, including psychotherapy (Kelman, 1963), international exchange (Kelman, 1962b, 1975), and conflict resolution (Kelman, 1972; Kelman & Cohen, 1979). I therefore welcome the opportunity, provided by the Nebraska Symposium, to draw together some of my ideas in this area and to distill some of the generalizations that have emerged from my work. I am particularly intrigued with noting some of the continuities and changes in my thinking over the years, as I have moved back and forth between experimental and applied work. It is exciting to observe the way these two lines of activity inform and stimulate each other and thus contribute to theoretical refinement.

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Kelman, Herbert C. 1978. “Israelis and Palestinians: Psychological Prerequisites for Mutual Acceptance.” International Security. International Security. Publisher's Version Abstract

Many observers of the Middle East conflict now regard the establishment of an independent Palestinian problem. Such a state would live side by side with an independent Israel, based more or less within its pre–1967 boundaries. This solution envisages a Palestinian state that would be free to decide for itself what kinds of links, if any, it wants to establish with Jordan or with any other country. It further assumes that the state would offer opportunities for citizenship and leadership to Palestinians in the diaspora, including elements of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), provided they accept the principle of peaceful coexistence with Israel.

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Kelman, Herbert C. 1977. “The Conditions, Criteria, and Dialectics of Human Dignity: A Transnational Perspective.” International Studies Quarterly. International Studies Quarterly. Publisher's Version Abstract

Human dignity refers to the status of individuals as ends in themselves rather than means to extraneous ends. To be consistent with dignity, institutions must provide for their constituencies’ identity and community – the two components of dignity. These correspond roughly to individual freedom and social justice, which are seen as interdependent conditions of dignity. Achievement, extension, and preservation of human dignity are to a large extent a transnational enterprise.

The paper addresses three issues in the realization of dignity in which the transnational dimension plays a significant role. It proposes (1) that the conditions for realizing human dignity (which include international peace in addition to social justice and individual freedom) must be created through worldwide efforts, given our increasing global interdependence; (2) that the criteria for assessing whether policies and institutional arrangements are consistent with human dignity must be universalistic, while remaining respectful of cultural and political difference; and (3) that the social processes whereby human dignity is extended and protected are inherently dialectical, since they require both the fulfillment and the inhibition of nationalistic demands.

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Kelman, Herbert C. 1974. “Attitudes Are Alive and Well and Gainfully Employed in the Sphere of Action.” American Psychologist. American Psychologist. Publisher's Version Abstract

In my own view of social behavior, attitude is a central concept, and I regard the study of attitudes as a legitimate pursuit in its own right and as useful component of a multimethod research strategy. For example, studies of the structure and distribution of public attitudes on various social issues or of the determinants of attitude change can greatly contribute to our understanding of societal processes. In particular, attitude assessment combined with other research procedures – such as structural indexes in studies of organizational functioning or behavioral observations in studies of child–rearing practices – can add depth and perspective to the analysis of social phenomena. Too often, however, research has focused on attitudes, not so much because of primary interest in attitudes per se or in their contribution to complex social processes, but because the assessment of attitudes was the easiest and most convenient way of obtaining data. It is obviously more convenient to distribute questionnaires in our classes, asking students how they would be likely to react in a variety of situations, than to observe their behavior in such situations, or to ask a sample of some population about the functioning of their organization, community, or society, than to make the detailed observations and develop the elaborate indexes needed to study a social system more directly. In many of our laboratory experiments too, after investing a great deal of energy and ingenuity in manipulation the independent variables, we have used attitudes as the cheapest and most painless dependent variable for assessing the effects of our manipulations.

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In the early 1950s I developed a theoretical framework for the analysis of social influence, based on a qualitative distinction between three processes of influence: compliance, identification, and internalization. For each of these, a distinct set of antecedents and consequents is postulated. The model is particularly concerned with specifying the conditions under which changes induced by social influence attempts are temporary and superficial and, by contrast, those under which such changes are lasting and integrated into the person’s belief and value systems. A summary of the model and of the research based on it was published over ten years ago (Kelman 1961). Several experimental tests of the model have been reported (Kelman 1958; Kelman 1960; Kelman and Cohler 1965; Kelman and Eagly 1965). Furthermore, the model has been extended to the study of attitude–discrepant behavior (Kelman 1962; Kelman, Baron, Sheposh, and Lubalin, forthcoming) and applied to the analysis of influence processes in psychotherapy (Kelman 1963) in international educational exchange (Bailyn and Kelman 1962), and in the integration of individuals into the national system (Kelman 1969).

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Kelman, Herbert C. 1973. “Violence Without Moral Restraint: Reflections on the Dehumanization of Victims and Victimizers.” Journal of Social Issues. Journal of Social Issues. Publisher's Version Abstract

The paper identifies a class of violent acts that can best be described as sanctioned massacres. The special features of sanctioned massacres are that they occur in the context of a genocidal policy, and that they are directed at groups that have not themselves threatened or engaged in hostile actions against the perpetrators of the violence. The psychological environment in which such massacres occur lacks the conditions normally perceived as providing some degree of moral justification for violence. In searching for a psychological explanation of mass violence under these conditions, it is instructive to focus on factors reducing the strength of restraining forces against violence. Three interrelated processes are discussed in detail: (a) processes of authorization, which define the situation as one in which standard moral principles do not apply and the individual is absolved of responsibility to make personal moral choices; (b) processes of routinization, which so organize the action that there is no opportunity for raising moral questions and making moral decisions; and (c) processes of dehumanization which deprive both the victim and victimizer of identity and community. The paper concludes with suggestions for corrective efforts that might help to prevent sanctioned massacres by counteracting the systemic and attitudinal supports for the processes described.

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Kelman, Herbert C. 1971. “Language as an Aid and Barrier to Involvement in the National System.” University Press of Hawaii. University Press of Hawaii. Publisher's Version Abstract

The basic thesis that I would like to develop in this discussion is that language is a uniquely powerful instrument in unifying a diverse population and in involving individuals and subgroups in the national system. However, some of the very features of language that give it this power under some circumstances may, under other circumstances, become major sources of disintegration and internal conflict within a national system. These considerations should have some definite implications for language policy not only in developing nations but also in long–established nations marked by diglossia – whether officially recognized (as in Canada or in Belgium) or unrecognized (as in the United States). Specifically, I will try to argue that, while the development of a national language may be highly conducive to the creation and strengthening of national identity, the deliberate use of language for purposes of national identity may – at least in a multiethnic state – have more disruptive than unifying consequences.

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Nationalism is widely regarded as a powerful force in the world today. In Europe, where it has been discredited as a result of the Second World War, it seems to be reemerging. In the Communist world, it has let to separate and often conflicting policies in different countries, thus helping to break down the myth of a monolithic world Communism. In the United States, it is at least partly responsible for the international posture of the current administration. In the Middle East, clashing nationalisms are seen as the cause of continuing tension. Nationalism has spread throughout the newly emerging states of Asia and Africa and, according to Whitaker and Jordan (1969), "it has become the greatest single force at work in Latin America" (p.1).

Kelman, Herbert C. 1965. “Social-Psychological Approaches to the Study of International Relations: Definition of Scope.” Holt, Rinehart and Winston. Holt, Rinehart and Winston. Publisher's Version Abstract

During that past decade or so, ever–increasing attention has been paid to the systematic analysis of the psychological aspects of international relations. There has been a steady growth of theory and empirical research on problems of international behavior in general, which has included the concerted use of psychological – and particularly social–psychological – concepts and methods. Part of this development has involved the attempt to define certain aspects of war and peace as researchable problems, to which the tools of behavioral science can be applied. At the same time, psychologists and social scientists in related fields have increasingly addressed themselves to matters of policy in the field of international relations: They have questioned some of the psychological assumptions underlying various approaches to foreign policy and have developed policy recommendations based, at least in part, on psychological considerations.

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Kelman, Herbert C. 1963. “The Role of the Group in the Induction of Therapeutic Change.” International Journal of Group Psychotherapy. International Journal of Group Psychotherapy. Publisher's Version Abstract

Psychotherapy can be regarded as a social influence situation in which the patient's relationship to the therapist is the primary vehicle for the production of therapeutic change. In individual psychotherapy, the situation is so arranged as to maximize the probability that the patient's interactions with the therapist will facilitate desirable changes in his attitudes, values, and action–tendencies. In group psychotherapy, the patient's relationships to his fellow–patients and to the group as a whole become additional vehicles for the production of therapeutic change. In choosing between group and individual therapy, one has to keep in mind, of course, that while group and individual therapy, one has to keep in mind, of course, that while the patient group–relationship may serve to strengthen forces toward change, it may also bring certain counterforces into play, thus reducing the potentiality for change contained in the dyadic relationship. Whether or not group therapy seems to be indicated, given these competing forces, will depend on the characteristics of the patient, the nature of his problems, and the current status of his general treatment program. Group therapy will be resorted to when there is a reason to believe that the combination of therapist and group wil lmake for more effective influence situation and facilitate the occurrence of the particular changes that are desired.

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Kelman, Herbert C. 1961. “Processes of Opinion Change.” Public Opinion Quarterly. Public Opinion Quarterly. Publisher's Version Abstract

Attitude and opinion data provide a basis for inferring the meaning of opinions held by individuals and groups and also for predictions about their future behavior. Such inferences and predictions, if they are to be made effectively, require a theoretical foundation which explains the processes by which people adopt and express particular opinions. Here is a theory of three processes by which persons respond to social influence.

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Kelman, Herbert C. 1958. “Compliance, Identification, and Internalization: Three Processes of Attitude Change.” Journal of Conflict Resolution. Journal of Conflict Resolution. Publisher's Version Abstract

A crucial issue in communication research relates to the nature of changes (if any) that are brought about by a particular communication or type of communication. It is not enough to know that there has been some measurable change in attitude; usually we would also want to know what kind of change it is. Is it a superficial change, on a verbal level, which disappears after a short lapse of time? Or is it a more lasting change in attitude and belief, which manifests itself in a wide range of situations and which is integrated into the person?s value system? Or, to put it in other terms, did the communication produce public conformity without private acceptance, or did it produce public conformity coupled with private acceptance? (Cf. 1, 4.) Only if we know something about the nature and depth of changes can we make meaningful predictions about the way in which attitude changes will be reflected in subsequent actions and reactions to events.

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Kelman, Herbert C. 1952. “Attitude Change as a Function of Response Restriction.” Human Relations. Human Relations. Publisher's Version Abstract

A number of studies have reported on factors that affect conformity to social pressures and social norms (e.g., 2, 5, 13, 19, 24). Very little is known, however, about the relationship between conformity to social norms and actual changes in attitude. From everyday observations we are familiar with two opposing phenomena. On the one hand, there are individuals who conform outwardly to the norms of their social group, but do not really accept these norms (ef. the distinction between public and private attitudes). On the other hand, there are individuals who at first conform behaviorally and verbally to the norms of the group to which they want to belong, but who gradually internalize these norms and begin to believe them. The questions arises, then, as to the conditions under which conformity leads to actual changes in attitude, and the conditions under which it fails to do so.

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