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Exposure to a Media Intervention Helps Promote Peace in Colombia, Nature Human Behaviour

Abstract

Whereas politicians broker peace deals, it falls to the public to embrace peace and help sustain it. The legacy of conflicts can make it difficult for people to support reconciling and reintegrating with former enemies. Here, we create a 5-minute media intervention from interviews we conducted with FARC ex-combatants in a Colombian demobilization camp and non-FARC Colombians in neighboring communities. We show that exposure to the media intervention humanizes FARC ex-combatants and increases support for peace and re-integration. These effects persisted at least 3 months post-exposure, were replicated in an independent sample of non-FARC Colombians, and affected both attitudes (e.g., support for reintegration policies) and behavior (e.g., donations to organizations supporting ex-combatants). As predicted, the intervention’s effects were mediated by changing conflict-associated cognitions—reducing the belief that ex-combatants are unwilling and unable to change—beyond affective pathways (e.g., increased empathy or reduced prejudice).

Type

Article

Author(s)

Emile Bruneau, Andres Casas, Boaz Hameiri, Nour Kteily

Date Published

2022

Citations

Bruneau, Emile, Andres Casas, Boaz Hameiri, and Nour Kteily. 2022. Exposure to a Media Intervention Helps Promote Peace in Colombia. Nature Human Behaviour.

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