Priming effects of a reconciliation radio drama on historical perspective-taking in the aftermath of mass violence in Rwanda

Rezarta Bilali, Johanna Ray Vollhardt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

A field experiment in Rwanda investigated the impact of a radio drama designed to increase perspective-taking with regard to the history of intergroup conflict. An audio-based priming technique was used to assess the causal impact of the radio drama. Rwandan participants (N= 842) listened to an audio-delivered questionnaire recorded either in the voice of a main character of the radio drama (experimental priming condition) or an unknown actor (control condition). Participants primed with the radio drama reported higher levels of historical perspective-taking, engaged less in competitive victimhood, and expressed less mistrust toward the out-group. Overall, the findings suggest that fictional radio dramas can be used to address opposing historical narratives in the aftermath of violent conflict. Additionally, the study demonstrates the usefulness of a priming paradigm to assess causal influence of mass media interventions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)144-151
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Experimental Social Psychology
Volume49
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2013

Keywords

  • Intergroup conflict
  • Mass media
  • Perspective-taking
  • Reconciliation
  • Trust
  • Victimhood

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science

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