Differences in State Anxiety Responses to Combat Pictures between Young Adult Israeli Jews and Israeli Palestinian Arabs


The purpose of the current study was to investigate whether the different political realities of Israeli Jewish citizens and of Israeli Palestinian Arab citizens had differential impacts on the situational anxiety elicited by video clips of military operations. The pictures were taken during the November 2012 Pillar of Defense military operation in Gaza and southern Israel. Participants included 75 (49 female) students at an Israeli college. Of these, 39 were Israeli Jews and 36 were Israeli Arabs. Participants completed the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (Spielberger, 1983) and then watched a video clip containing combat pictures. After that they completed the State Anxiety Inventory again. The results showed no differences between Israeli Jewish participants and Israeli Palestinian Arab participants on trait anxiety. Analysis revealed a significant group (Israeli Jews/ Israeli Palestinian Arabs) X condition (before/after watching the video clip pictures) interaction effect. Before watching the video clip, the groups exhibited no difference in state anxiety. After watching the clip, the Israeli Palestinian Arab participants showed greater state anxiety compared with the Israeli Jews.

Share and Cite:

Dan, O. , David, Y. , Abraham, M. and Souval, D. (2015) Differences in State Anxiety Responses to Combat Pictures between Young Adult Israeli Jews and Israeli Palestinian Arabs. Psychology, 6, 1136-1143. doi: 10.4236/psych.2015.69111.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


[1] Abrams, D., & Hogg, M. A. (1990). Social Identification, Self Categorization and Social Influence. European Review of Social Psychology, 1, 195-228. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14792779108401862
[2] Al-Haj, M. (1993) The Impact of the Intifada on the Arabs in Israel: The Case of A Double Periphery. In A. Cohen, & G. Wolfsfeld (Eds.), Framing the Intifada, Media and People (pp. 64-75). Norwood, NJ: Ablex.
[3] Azar, E. E. (1990). The Management of Protracted Social Conflict. Hampshire, UK: Dartmouth Publishing.
[4] Bar-Tal, D. (2007). Social-Psychological Foundations of Intractable Conflict. American behavioral Scientist, 50, 1430-1453. http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0002764207302462
[5] Bar-Tal, D., & Labin, D. (2001). The Effect of a Major Event on Stereotyping: Terrorist Attacks in Israel and Israeli Adolescents’ Perceptions of Palestinians, Jordanians and Arabs. European Journal of Social Psychology, 31, 265-280. http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ejsp.43
[6] Bar-Tal, D., & Teichman Y. (2005). Stereotypes and Prejudice in Conflict: Representations of Arabs in Israeli Jewish Society. Cambridge, UK and New York: Cambridge University Press.
[7] Ben Meir, Y., & Shaked, D. (2007) The People Speak: Israeli Public Opinion on National Security 2005-2007. Memorandum, Vol. 90. Tel Aviv: Institute for National Security Studies.
[8] Brewer, M. B. (1986) The Role of Ethnocentrism in Intergroup Conflict. In S. Worchel, & W. G. Austin (Eds.), Psychology of Intergroup Relations (pp. 88-102). Chicago: Nelson-Hall.
[9] Brewin, C. R., Andrews, B., & Valentine, J. D. (2000). Meta-Analysis of Risk Factors for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder in Trauma-Exposed Adults. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 68, 748-766.
[10] Burton, J. (1990) Conflict: Human Needs Theory. New York: St. Martins Press.
[11] Dumont, M., Yzerbyt, V., Wigboldus, D., & Gordijn, E. H. (2003). Social Categorization and Fear Reactions to the September 11th Terrorist Attacks. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 29, 1509-1520. http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0146167203256923
[12] Galea, S., Ahern, J., Resnick, H., Kilpatrick, D., Bucuvalas, M., Gold, J., & Vlahov, D. (2002). Psychological Sequelae of the September 11 Terrorist Attacks in New York City. The New England Journal of Medicine, 346, 982-987. http://dx.doi.org/10.1056/NEJMsa013404
[13] Hagerty, B. M., & Williams, R. A. (1999). The Effects of Sense of Belonging, Social Support, Conflict and Loneliness on Depression. Nursing Research, 48, 215-219.
[14] Halperin, E., Canetti-Nisim, D., & Hirsch-Hoefler, S. (2009). The Central Role of Group-Based Hatred as an Emotional Antecedent of Political Intolerance: Evidence from Israel. Political Psychology, 30, 93-123.
[15] Halperin, E., Sharvit, K., & Gross, J. J. (2011). Emotion and Emotion Regulation in Intergroup Conflict: An Appraisal-Based Framework. In D. Bar-Tal (Ed.), Intergroup Conflicts and Their Resolution: A Social Psychological Perspective (pp. 83-103). New York: Psychology Press.
[16] Hobfoll, S. E., Canetti-Nisim, D., & Johnson, R. J. (2006). Exposure to Terrorism, Stress-Related Mental Health Symptoms, and Defensive Coping among Jews and Arabs in Israel. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 74, 207-218. http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/0022-006X.74.2.207
[17] Huddy, L., Feldman, S., & Cassese, E. (2009). Terrorism, Anxiety, and War. In W. G. K. Stritzke, S. Lewandowsky, D. Denemark, J. Clare, & F. Morgan (Eds.), Terrorism and Torture: An Interdisciplinary Perspective (pp. 290-312). New York: Cambridge University Press.
[18] Kelman, H. (1999). The Interdependence of Israeli and Palestinian National Identities: The Role of the Other in Existential Conflicts. Journal of Social Issues, 55, 581-600.
[19] Kelman, H. (2004). Reconciliation as Identity Change: A Social-Psychological Perspective. In Y. Bar-Simon-Tov (Ed.), From Conflict Resolution to Reconciliation (pp. 111-124). Oxford: Oxford University Press. http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195166439.003.0006
[20] Kupermintz, H., Salomon, G., & Hussisi, R. (2007). Mutual Perceptions of Jewish and Arab Youth in Israel: 2004-2005. Haif: Center for Research on Peace Education, Haifa University.
[21] Loo, C. M., Fairbank, J. A., & Chemtob, C. M. (2005). Adverse Race-Related Events as a Risk Factor for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder in Asian American Vietnam Veterans. The Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease, 193, 455-463. http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/01.nmd.0000168239.51714.e6
[22] Mackie, D. M., Devos, T., & Smith, E. R. (2000). Intergroup Emotions: Explaining Offensive Action Tendencies in an Intergroup Context. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 79, 602-616.
[23] Maddux, W. W., Galinsky, A. D., Cuddy, A. J. C., & Polifroni, M. (2008). When Being a Model Minority Is Good and Bad: Realistic Threat Explains Negativity toward Asian Americans. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 34, 74-89. http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0146167207309195
[24] Norris, F., Friedman, M., Watson, P., Byrne, C., Diaz, E., & Kaniasty, K. (2002). 60, 000 Disaster Victims Speak. Part I: An Empirical Review of the Empirical Literature, 1981-2001. Psychiatry, 65, 207-239.
[25] Palinkas, L. A., Petterson, J. S., Russell, J., & Downs, M. A. (1993). Community Patterns of Psychiatric Disorders after the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill. American Journal of Psychiatry, 150, 1517-1523.
[26] Pettigrew, T. F. (2003). Peoples under Threat: Americans, Arabs, and Israelis. Peace and Conflict: Journal of Peace Psychology, 9, 69-90. http://dx.doi.org/10.1207/S15327949PAC0901_03
[27] Perilla, J. L., Norris, F. H., & Lavizzo, E. A. (2002). Ethnicity, Culture, and Disaster Response: Identifying and Explaining Ethnic Differences in PTSD Six Months after Hurricane Andrew. Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, 21, 20-45. http://dx.doi.org/10.1521/jscp.
[28] Rios-Morrison, K., & Ybarra, O. (2008). The Effects of Realistic Threats and Group Identification on Social Dominance Orientation. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 44, 156-163.
[29] Rouhana, N. N. (2004). Group Identity and Power Asymmetry in Reconciliation Processes: The Israeli-Palestinian Case. Peace and Conflict: Journal of Peace Psychology, 10, 33-52.
[30] Rouhana, N. N. (2008). Reconciling History and Equal Citizenship in Israel: Democracy and the Politics of Historical Denial. In W. Kymlicka, & B. Bashir (Eds.), The Politics of Reconciliation in Multicultural Societies (pp. 70-93). Oxford: Oxford University Press.
[31] Rouhana, N. N., & Bar-Tal, D. (1998). Psychological Dynamics of Intractable Ethnonational Conflicts: The Israeli-Palesti- nian Case. American Psychologist, 53, 761-770.
[32] Sargent, J., Williams, R. A., Hagerty, B., Lynch-Sauer, J., & Hoyle, K. (2002). Sense of Belonging as a Buffer against Depressive Symptoms. Journal of the American Psychiatric Nurses Association, 8, 120-129. http://dx.doi.org/10.1067/mpn.2002.127290
[33] Shamir, M., & Sagiv-Schifter, T. (2006). Conflict, Identity, and Tolerance: Israel in the Al-Aqsa Intifada. Political Psychology, 27, 569-596. http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-9221.2006.00523.x
[34] Shamir, M., & Sullivan, J. (1985). Jews and Arabs in Israel: Everybody Hates Somebody Sometimes. Journal of Conflict Resolution, 29, 283-305. http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0022002785029002006
[35] Skitka, L. J., Bauman, C. W., & Mullen, E. (2004). Political Tolerance and Coming to Psychological Closure following September 11, 2001: An Integrative Approach. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 30, 743-756. http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0146167204263968
[36] Smith, E. R., & Mackie, D. M. (2008). Intergroup Emotions. In M. Lewis, J. M. Haviland-Jones, & L. F. Barrett (Eds.), Handbook of Emotions (3rd ed., pp. 428-439). New York: NY Guilford Press.
[37] Somer, E., Maguen, S., Or-Chen, K., & Litz, B. T. (2007). Managing Terror: Differences between Jews and Arabs in Israel. International Journal of Psychology, 44, 138-146.
[38] Spielberger, C. D. (1983). State-Trait Anxiety Inventory: A Comprehensive Bibliography. Palo Alto, CA: Consulting Psychologists Press.
[39] Stephan, W.G., & Stephan, C.W. (1996). Intergroup Relations. Boulder, CO: Westview Press.
[40] Stephan, W.G., & Stephan, C.E. (2001). Improving Intergroup Relations. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publication.
[41] Tajfel, H., & Turner, J. (1986). An Integrative Theory of Intergroup Conflict. In W. G. Austin, & S. Worchel (Eds.), Psychology of Intergroup Relations (pp. 7-24). Monterey, CA: Brooks Cole.
[42] Wohl, M. J. K., Branscombe, N. R., & Klar, Y. (2006). Collective Guilt: Justice-Based Emotional Reactions When One’s Group Has Done Wrong or Been Wronged. European Review of Social Psychology, 17, 1-37.
[43] Zeidner, M. (1989). Social Anxiety among Jewish and Arab Students in Israel. Journal of Social Psychology, 129, 415-418. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00224545.1989.9712058

Copyright © 2023 by authors and Scientific Research Publishing Inc.

Creative Commons License

This work and the related PDF file are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.