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Of central importance to every intergroup conflict are various valued resources, such as money, energy, time, and human capital. This is all the more true in cases of open war. The greater the scale of the conflict, the higher the costs and the more widely the conflict spreads into everyday life. Moreover, protracted conflicts can be detrimental to the psychological well-being of all groups involved. Aggressive actions violate feelings of security, predictability, and control, bringing in exchange grief, fear, humiliation, anger, hate, and guilt. Nevertheless, during such conflicts, both the leaders and ordinary citizens have to cope with these conditions, and they do so through various rationalization processes that allow them to accept the situation, at least to some degree.

In a nutshell, rationalization is a ...

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