This research was supported by a Harry Frank Guggenheim dissertation fellowship and grants from the International Peace Research Association Foundation and the Society for Psychological Study of Social Issues. The author thanks Linda Tropp, Nilanjana Dasgupta, David Matz and the issue editors for their comments in earlier drafts of this article.
National Narrative and Social Psychological Influences in Turks’ Denial of the Mass Killings of Armenians as Genocide
Article first published online: 7 MAR 2013
© 2013 The Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues
Journal of Social Issues
Special Issue: The Aftermath of Genocide: Psychological Perspectives
Volume 69, Issue 1, pages 16–33, March 2013
How to Cite
Bilali, R. (2013), National Narrative and Social Psychological Influences in Turks’ Denial of the Mass Killings of Armenians as Genocide. Journal of Social Issues, 69: 16–33. doi: 10.1111/josi.12001
- Issue published online: 7 MAR 2013
- Article first published online: 7 MAR 2013
This article sheds light on the nature of the Turkish denial of Armenian mass killings. A survey study investigates Turkish students’ construals (i.e., attributions of responsibility and perceived severity of harm) of Turkish massacres of Armenians at the beginning of the 20th century. The results demonstrated a high correspondence between participants’ individual construals and the Turkish official narrative of the events. Structural equation modeling indicated that in-group glorification, perceived in-group threat, and positive attitudes toward war predicted less acknowledgment of in-group responsibility, which in turn predicted less support for reparations of the harm inflicted on Armenians. The study highlights the influence of government-sponsored national self-images in the production and endorsement of legitimizing narratives of the in-group's violence. The findings call for research that examines the combined influence of psychological and societal mechanisms on people's beliefs about in-group actions.