2012 Volume 83 Issue 5 Pages 489-495
This study examines an effect of collective victimhood in intergroup relations. Collective victimhood is the belief that an ingroup has been harmed by an outgroup. Previous studies focusing on collective victimhood have shown that collective victimhood escalates intergroup conflict. We predicted that the effect of collective victimhood on intergroup aggression would involve two different emotional processes: anger and fear. To test this hypothesis, Japanese attitudes toward the Chinese were examined in the context of Japan-China relations. The results of structural equation modeling showed that collective victimhood enhanced both anger and fear. However, intergroup emotions had converse effects on intergroup aggression. While anger promoted intergroup aggression, fear inhibited it. Nationalism promoted collective victimhood. These findings suggest that, in intergroup conflict, collective victimhood affects intergroup aggression through two emotional processes, which have inverse effects on the aggression.