The Role Of Empathy And The Group Based Emotion Of Collective Guilt In The Prediction Of Negative Attitudes Toward Indigenous Australians

2329 words - 10 pages


The role of empathy and the group-based emotion of collective guilt in the prediction of negative attitudes toward Indigenous Australians
Previous research has found quite disturbing levels of prejudice particularly to the indigenous Australians (Bretherton and Balvin, 2012, p.78). Collective guilt among the indigenous Americans has always predicted negative attitude as far as the right and wrongs go. Lack of effective perspective taking and empathy for the indigenous Australians has predicted attitudes.
The experience of empathy towards individuals affected by anger towards the perpetrators of social ills and those affected by social problems ...view middle of the document...

, 2004, p.240). Group emotion takes the form of an emotional entity that is capable of influencing the emotional states of individual members if not the sum of emotional states of individual members.
Moreover, collective guilt refers to the unpleasant and in most cases, emotional reaction that normally comes up when a group harms members of another group in an awkward manner (Allppress et al., 2010, p.76). Collective guilt in most cases results from sharing some form of social identity with the other group whose actions seems to be a threat as far as the positivity of that particular identity is concerned. Studies reveal that different intergroup inequalities have mostly resulted into collective guilt (Halloran. 2007, p.4). These include receiving privileges or unearned benefits in more extreme forms of harm in individuals considered out-groups. This can include even the extreme cases of genocide. Most individuals are therefore motivated to avoid collective guilt as much as possible in order to maintain their positive social identity. Some of the methodologies of decreasing collective guilt include the process of justifying actions or denying harm (Allppress et al., 2010, p.76). However, it is important to note that collective guilt has some positive outcomes that include reducing negative attitudes or promoting the intergroup reconciliation. This review analyses the role of empathy and the group based emotion of collective guilt as far as the prediction of negative attitudes towards the indigenous Australians.
The constructs relationships in predicting negative attitudes toward Indigenous Australians
Previous studies in West Australia have established a significant number of cases of prejudice against the Indigenous Australians. This is indeed disturbing bearing in mind that both federal and state governments have continuously worked towards reconciling both the indigenous and non-indigenous Australians (Allppress et al., 2010, p.78). In as much as very little information concerning the impact of racism and prejudice on the well-being of Indigenous
Australians are in existence, there is a number of a research study suggesting that the perception of hostility emanating from the outside community is of vital relationship to the indigenous Australians suicidal behavior, mental health problems, police problems, non-prescribed use of drugs as well as the prison experiences.
Social psychological theories of intergroup behavior
The social psychological theory particularly social identity theory of intergroup behavior offers good explanation as far as the role of empathy and collective guilt is concerned when it comes to predicting the negative attitudes. This theory states that individuals consider alternatives or various ideas before they commit themselves to them respectively (Bretherton and Balvin, 2012, p.78). The focus of this theory is normally on attachments that individuals tend to form to their social groups and the group...

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