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Wagamaga OP t1_j5fzlc3 wrote

Can anything minimize the serious polarization among groups in countries like Israel and the US? With the global escalation in conflicts among population groups, acts of violence by residents of cities and the increasing participation of youth in civil conflicts, there appears to be an urgent need to develop science-based methods to mitigate hatred and aggression and foster empathy and dialogue among youth growing up in the reality of a long-term conflict.

Eight sessions of dialogue-enhancing interventions among Jewish and Arab youth resulted in an impact on brain function, hormonal response, social behavior and attitudes towards the conflict and gains were retained seven years later.

Prof. Ruth Feldman, director of the Center for Developmental Social Neuroscience at Reichman University’s Ivcher School of Psychology, together with her research partners, examined whether it’s possible to build an intervention for teenagers from polarized groups in a society that has experienced multigenerational conflict, based on findings from the field of neuroscience. They wondered whether such interventions improve the brain’s reactions towards others, and can these improvements be preserved over time?

For the study, the researchers built a unique synchrony-focused intervention and examined its effects on the neural and hormonal responses and communication behavior among Jewish and Arab adolescents. The intervention, entitled “Tools of Dialogue” is a manualized group intervention of eight meetings between Jewish and Arab teenagers.

Each meeting lasted about two-and-a-half hours and was held in groups of 12 boys or girls, half of them Jews and half of them Arabs. The sessions were led by two mediators, one Jewish and one Arab, both of which have vast experience in facilitating Jewish-Arab groups.

“Our research findings showed that youth who received the intervention showed a broad and multidimensional bio-neurobehavioral change and the intervention gains lasted for years,” said Feldman. “This study is the first of its kind to show that an intervention based on increasing behavioral synchrony in groups engaged in intractable conflict stimulates the brain's empathic response, attenuates the neural basis of prejudice, reduces the cortisol response (stress), increases oxytocin (love) and shapes interpersonal interaction that is more mutual and less hostile.

This change is evident in the participants even after seven years, and the youth who underwent the intervention developed more tolerant attitudes towards the other, believed in finding a solution, and were actively involved in initiatives for dialogue and peace as young adults.”


AugustWolf22 t1_j5in8e1 wrote

This is silly. It's pointless to have political dialogue and understanding when the whole argument of one side is that they want to ethnically cleanse and expell your people and are taught to view you as a lesser being. Imagine if in South Africa they had just peacefully talked an end to apartheid instead of protesting, fighting and sanctioning it. because both sides saw the common ground - basically the argument if this study. Doing so is suicide for groups in such situations.


amos106 t1_j5k2scz wrote

It sounds like the political dialog was being guided in a way that helped to deconstruct that indoctrination and build understanding that they are also human beings, and this applies to both parties. Human relations are built on trust and reciprocation so if you want the violence to stop you need to figure out ways of establishing those two things.


YurtMcGirt t1_j5jw2a8 wrote

If it’s pointless to have dialogue then what alternative do you suggest?


AugustWolf22 t1_j5k393m wrote

I'm not saying that dialogue itself is useless per se, but rather individualised dialogue like this, when the issue is a systemic one originating from the overall goals of the group/society. Small actions like these can't change the fact that the aim of the Israeli state is to completely colonise Palestine and erase it's statehood and the rights of the Palestinian people in favour of Israeli citizens. Dialogue/diplomacy must be accompanied by systematic, sweeping top-down changes to the nature of the israeli goals with regards to Palestinian lands for thid conflict to be resolved. Trying to all get along and be friends just won't cut it.


The_Last_Green_leaf t1_j5k082z wrote

>when the whole argument of one side is that they want to ethnically cleanse and expell your people and are taught to view you as a lesser being.

this alone just shows that you could do with this training, considering this is just 100% a strawman,


AugustWolf22 t1_j5k24gt wrote

I'm not trying to strawman. But when you have groups who's altimate goal is the surpression and/ or extermination of your own group of people, dialogue is pointless. obviously people's personal views can vary somewhat here but we are talking moreso about the objectives of the group as a whole. To give another example would you be happy if they did this sort of program with a group of Ukrainians and Russians? would that be worthwhile and productive in your opinion?


myshiningmask t1_j5ml8qc wrote

teaching people to functionally express opinions, especially political ones is very important if you want change. Mastery of our reactions and responses is one step toward being able to act on a situation whether that be through organizing like-minded persons or standing up and speaking against injustice. Foreign powers might feel more sympathy for a Palestine that was willing to accept Israel has a right to exist. That's a pretty hard place to negotiate peace from, since you've mentioned that particular conflict.


LOS_FUEGOS_DEL_BURRO t1_j5g2yas wrote

Sounds like Socialism.


Lurkerantlers t1_j5g7cl4 wrote

If you think trying to find ways to increase empathy between different groups of people is socialism, then indeed that’s what this sounds like.


Shaved_Wookie t1_j5is1tr wrote

Would you be so kind as to share your definition of socialism?

I'd bet good money your definition would bear little resemblance to one we'd find in a dictionary or credible economics textbook.