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ERIC Number: EJ899664
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Oct
Pages: 12
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 79
ISSN: ISSN-0003-066X
Relational Identity Theory: A Systematic Approach for Transforming the Emotional Dimension of Conflict
Shapiro, Daniel L.
American Psychologist, v65 n7 p634-645 Oct 2010
Emotions are a vital dimension in conflicts among nation-states and communities affiliated by common ethnic, economic, or political interests. Yet the individuals most responsible for managing such conflicts--heads of state, CEOs, intellectual or religious leaders--are often blind to the psychological forces affecting their interests. During 20 years of international research, consulting, and teaching, I have developed a program for teaching thought leaders how to apply psychological principles to achieve their aims while also reducing negative outcomes such as violence, social upheaval, and economic displacement. In this article, I present relational identity theory (RIT), a theoretical and intellectual framework I have originated to help people understand and deal with key emotional dimensions of conflict management. I argue that national and communal bonds are essentially tribal in nature, and I describe how a tribe's unaddressed relational identity concerns make it susceptible to what I term the tribes effect, a rigidification of its relational identity. I provide strategies based on RIT for mitigating the tribes effect and thus enhancing global security. (Contains 2 figures and 2 footnotes.)
American Psychological Association. Journals Department, 750 First Street NE, Washington, DC 20002-4242. Tel: 800-374-2721; Tel: 202-336-5510; Fax: 202-336-5502; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Adult Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Switzerland