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IACM 2022

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.

David Reinhard
University of Illinois Urbana Champaign, Gies College of Business
United States

Bernhard Leidner
University of Massachusetts Amherst, Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences
United States


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