Objective: This study examines the conditions under which exposure to internal criticism among one's rival in conflict is effective in facilitating more positive views toward the rival. Methods: In two experiments, Jewish Israelis were exposed to a Palestinian criticizing Palestinians for violations of either “binding” or “individualizing” moral values. Results: Exposure to Palestinian internal criticism increased rightists' hope regarding the conflict and decreased their support for exclusion of Palestinians, particularly when the criticism targeted “binding” (vs. “individualizing”) moral values. Exposure to both types of criticism decreased leftists’ hope regarding the conflict. Conclusions: Internal criticism can facilitate positive views about one's rival in conflict when the target audience holds particularly rigid and negative views about the self-criticizing group, and particularly when the criticism communicates adherence values that echo those of the target audience. This study critically informs the design of interventions to induce hope and improve intergroup attitudes in intractable conflict.
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