Personality traits and national dilemma : psychological perspectives of attitudes toward the peace process in the Middle East.
The general hypothesis that there are common dispositional personality traits that
relate to individuals' attitudinal systems concerning a national dilemma was examined in
a sample of 197 Israeli students. The specific research question was why do some
people support the Peace Process in the Middle East while others do not.
Since there is as yet relatively little published research examining personality traits as
related to peace attitudes and membership in political movements, such a focus is
considered to contribute to the field of personality psychology as well as to that of
peace research, conflict resolution and international relationships.
The basic assumption ofvarious statements that relate mental disorders to
membership in political movements is that personality traits are drawn upon,
transformed and used by the movements to guide their activities, and to articulate their
aims and values. Such statements form the stimulus field ofthe present research,
examining the challenging puzzle ofwhich configuration ofpersonality traits,
characterizes the "Pro-Peace Personality".
A multi-methodological approach, integrating self-rating scales (the four factors of
the General Survey, GS, and the Big Five Inventory, BFI) and the Rorschach
(examined on a sub-sample of26 subjects) has been suggested for the empirical
examination of personality traits. The Pro-Peace Attitudes Index, PPAI, has been
developed for investigating the attitudinal system. The results point to the existence of
a "Pro-Peace Personality" that tends to be non-religious, less authoritarian conformist,
more agreeable and unconventional, high on integrative complexity in psychological
functioning, high in awareness to drives and impulses, less intensively reacting to
affective stimuli, and high in open-mindedness and creativity.
A question is raised as to whether the results can be replicated on other groups ofthe
Jewish Israeli population, on the Israeli Arab population, on the Arab countries'
population and the Palestinians, as well as on other nations involved in political
conflicts, such as within Northern Ireland. Generally, the research might be considered
as bridging the gap between the micro and macro levels ofanalysis in social sciences by
examining a problem in the field of international relations with concepts and tools of