Intergroup contact, forgiveness, and experience of The Troubles in Northern Ireland

M. Hewstone, E. Cairns, A. Voci, J. Hamberger, Ulrike Niens

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    256 Citations (Scopus)


    Two studies used random sample surveys to test the contact hypothesis on intergroup attitudes of Catholics and Protestants in Northern Ireland. In Study 1, archival data from two different surveys in 1989 (N= 310 Catholics, 422 Protestants) and 1991 (N= 319 Catholics, 478 Protestants) showed that contact was positively related to attitudes towards denominational mixing. Study 2 (N= 391 Catholics, 647 Protestants) explored predictors of intergroup forgiveness, and also showed that intergroup contact was positively related to out-group attitudes, perspective taking and trust (even among those who had worse experience of sectarian conflict). These studies indicate that research in peace psychology can provide a deeper understanding of the conflict in Northern Ireland and, in due course, contribute to its resolution.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)99-120
    Number of pages22
    JournalJournal of Social Issues
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - Mar 2006

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)


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