IACM 2022 Abstract Book »
Rival Warfare: An Investigation of Rivalry’s Potential for Intergroup Conflict Escalation
Five studies examined perceived international rivalry and its potential for conflict escalation. Across 13 different target countries, Study 1 (N = 248 Americans) found a significant positive association between group members perceived international rivalry and greater support for violent military (vs. diplomatic) approaches to conflict. Study 2 (N = 492 Americans) demonstrated that while people supported violent conflict escalation more strongly against rivals (rather than partners or non-rival competitors), conflict escalation support did not significantly differ between partners and non-rival competitors. Finally, Studies 3a-c (N = 5,212) examined American’s support for confrontational (vs. cooperative) economic policies using secondary analysis of publicly available, nationally representative data. While Americans who perceived China as a rival were significantly more likely to support confrontational economic policies, this was not counterbalanced by a positive effect of partnership on cooperation.