This article is concerned with psychological reactions on the part of Serbian people to atrocities committed by their group. A study conducted in the aftermath of genocidal acts committed in Bosnia and Herzegovina between 1992 and 1995 explored the question of socio-psychological factors facilitating and obstructing individuals' readiness and willingness to acknowledge Serbian atrocities. Eighteen Serbian participants were interviewed in depth about their perceptions and feelings regarding their group's moral violations. The study found that, in general, participants were reluctant to acknowledge and prone to justify their group's misdeeds. Although avoidance of collective atrocities committed in the past was a pronounced psychological reaction, the study also found approach-related tendencies such as intergroup contact to facilitate acknowledgment. The implications of these psychological processes for reconciliation are discussed.


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pp. 195-211
Launched on MUSE
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