Social psychology's contribution to the psychological study of peace: A review

Johanna K. Vollhardt, Rezarta Bilali

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article examines the overlap between social psychology and the psychological study of peace. We suggest that, within mainstream social psychology, a substantial body of research exists that can be referred to as "social psychological peace research" (SPPR). We present a framework that defines the subject matter and introduces conceptual and methodological criteria, characterizing core research in this area as (1) value-explicit, (2) contextualized, (3) including multiple levels of analysis, and (4) practically oriented, A content analysis of leading social psychology journals identifies the amount and nature of current SPPR. We suggest future directions for an integrated body of research to realize the field's potential to further the understanding and prevention of societal conflict as well as the promotion of positive intergroup relations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)12-25
Number of pages14
JournalSocial Psychology
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2008


  • Contextualized research
  • Intergroup relations
  • Multiple levels of analysis
  • Peace psychology
  • Value-explicit and practically oriented research

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • General Psychology


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