Explaining third-party reactions in interpersonal conflicts: A role-taking approach

Johannes Schwabe, Mario Gollwitzer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


When people witness conflicts in their group, they can react in one of the following ways: (a) support one of the involved parties, (b) reconcile the conflict, (c) escalate the conflict, or (d) remain neutral and passive. These reactions can be conceptualized as social roles. Building on the assumption that role-taking in conflicts is intricately intertwined with the moral self-concept, the present research aims at testing three empirical hypotheses. First, taking a moral role is predicted by individual differences in the general relevance of a moral self-concept. Second, taking a moral role increases the situational moral self-concept. Third, the more relevant the general moral self-concept for an actor, the higher the situational moral self-concept increase after moral role-taking. Results from three studies using both experimental and correlational designs (N = 961) support these hypotheses.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)902-920
Number of pages19
JournalGroup Processes and Intergroup Relations
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished or Issued - Sept 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • interpersonal conflicts
  • morality
  • role-taking
  • self-concept
  • social roles

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Cultural Studies
  • Communication
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Sociology and Political Science

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