Source: (2013) Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin. 39(2):181-192

The desire for justice can escalate or facilitate resolution of intergroup conflicts. Two studies investigated retributive and restorative notions of justice as the mediating factor of the effect of perceived outgroup sentience—an aspect of (mechanistic) dehumanization referring to the emotional depth attributed to others—on intergroup conflict resolution. Study 1 showed that for Palestinians, who see themselves as victims, perceived sentience of Israelis decreased retributive but increased restorative notions of justice, which, ultimately, increased support for conflict resolution by negotiation rather than political violence. Study 2 partially replicated Study 1’s findings with Jewish Israelis. The role of perceived sentience and its relationship to retributive and restorative notions of justice in protracted and nonprotracted conflicts and their resolution is discussed.