Psychological Interventions for Peace: From the Lab to the Field – The Motivation Challenge

November 03, 2022
Psychology 1312
Eran Halperin, Hebrew University of Jerusalem


Eran Halperin is Professor of Psychology at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. After earning his PhD in Political Science from the University of Haifa, Dr. Halperin was a postdoctoral researcher at Stanford University while on a Fulbright scholarship. He also served as Dean of the School of Psychology at IDC–Herzliya before joining the faculty at the Hebrew University. An award-winning researcher of emotional processes and field experimentalist, Dr. Halperin’s research uses psychological and political theories to investigate causal factors driving intergroup conflicts. More specifically, his work develops new approaches for modifying the psychological roots of intolerance, exclusion, and intergroup violence. The unique case of Israeli society in general, and that of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in particular, motivates much of his work, and most of his studies are conducted in that "natural laboratory." Halperin has published more than 200 peer-reviewed papers in journals that include Science, Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, and Psychological Science. In 2013 he received the Erik Erikson Early Career Award from the International Society of Political Psychology.


In recent years many social psychologists moved from a pure descriptive to a more interventionist approach in their research. This is true in many areas within the discipline, and specifically in the area of intergroup relations. In this talk I'll present some innovative interventions, mainly conducted within the context of the Israeli Palestinian conflict. While presenting these intervention studies, I'll focus mainly on the question related to the motivation of the target of these interventions. Specifically, how do we effectively use psychological interventions among people who don't see any good reason to change?