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Peace Psychology

  • By: Daniel J. Christie & Thomas E. Cooper
  • In: Encyclopedia of Social Psychology
  • Edited by: Roy F. Baumeister & Kathleen D. Vohs
  • Subject:Social Psychology (general)

Peace psychology seeks to develop theory and practices that prevent and mitigate both direct violence and structural violence. Direct violence injures or kills people quickly and dramatically, whereas structural violence is much more widespread and kills far more people, by depriving them of basic need satisfaction. When people starve, for example, even though there's enough food for everyone, the distribution system is creating structural violence.

Roots of Peace Psychology

The roots of peace psychology are often traced to William James and a speech he gave at Stanford University in 1906. With World War I on the horizon, James talked about his belief that war satisfied a deeply felt human need for virtues such as loyalty, discipline, conformity, group cohesiveness, and duty. He also observed that individuals who ...

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