Attributions of responsibility and perceived harm in the aftermath of mass violence

Rezarta Bilali, Linda R. Tropp, Nilanjana Dasgupta

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Two studies shed light on construals (i.e., attributions of responsibility and perceived severity of harm) of extreme intergroup violence and the relationship between in-group identification and these construals. An investigation of Turkish construals of Armenian massacres at the beginning of the 20th century (Study 1) and Hutus' and Tutsis' construals of the ethnic conflict in Burundi (Study 2) showed that each group attributed less responsibility to the in-group relative to the out-group and third parties. Furthermore, respondents attributed less responsibility to the in-group for the instigation of the conflict than for the consequences of the conflict and viewed respective out-groups and third parties as the instigators of the violent conflict. Stronger Turkish identification was related to (a) attributing more out-group responsibility but less in-group responsibility, and (b) greater perceptions of harm inflicted on the in-group and less harm inflicted on the out-group and third parties. Stronger in-group identification among Hutus and Tutsis also predicted more out-group responsibility for the conflict.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)21-39
Number of pages19
JournalPeace and Conflict
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2012



  • Attributions Of Responsibility
  • Burundi
  • Conflict
  • In-Group identification
  • Mass violence
  • Turkey

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Political Science and International Relations

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