Social Psychological Bulletin <p><strong>Social Psychological Bulletin</strong> (Psychologia Społeczna) is an open-access quarterly no-APC journal (free for both reader and authors), that publishes original empirical research, theoretical review papers, scientific debates, and methodological contributions in the field of basic and applied social psychology. The SP Bulletin actively promotes standards of open-science, supports an integrative approach to all aspects of social psychological science and is committed to discussing timely social issues of high importance.</p> <p><strong><span class="jh_lable">Publication types:</span></strong>&nbsp;Research article, Review article, Short communication, Methods, Data paper, Forum paper, Editorial, Corrigendum, Book review</p> <p><strong><span class="jh_lable">Archived:</span></strong>&nbsp;<a href="">CLOCKSS</a>,&nbsp;<a href="">PsychArchives</a></p> en-US (Michal Parzuchowski & Marcin Bukowski) (PsychOpen Support Team) Wed, 11 Mar 2020 00:00:00 -0700 OJS 60 From Conflict to Dialogue? Lessons of the Polish Round Table ‘89 <p>No abstract available.</p> Mirosław Kofta, Michał Bilewicz, Stephen Reicher Copyright (c) 2020 Mirosław Kofta, Michał Bilewicz, Stephen Reicher Wed, 11 Mar 2020 00:00:00 -0700 On the Deliberative Initiation of Macro-Social Change: The Case of the Round Table Negotiations in Poland From the Perspective of a Participant <p>The Round Table (RT) Talks in Poland in February-April 1989 initiated rapid transition from an authoritarian political system and a centralized, state-controlled economy to democratic capitalism. They also triggered a cascade of changes across the whole of Eastern Europe (the former Soviet block). In this paper I analyze the psychological factors that contributed to success of the talks. During the RT talks, the representatives of the ruling party in Poland („communists”) negotiated with the representatives of „Solidarity” (“democratic opposition”) - the very broad socio-political movement representing Polish aspirations to democracy and sovereignty, separate from the Soviet Union. The paper describes the organization of the negotiations (a complex structure with about 700 participants) and the sources of an initial deep antagonism between the two sides. It addresses the main psychological factors that made it possible for this antagonism to be overcome and for the development of an agreed plan to democratize the Polish political system. This includes an analysis of: the general approach to negotiations; the initial definitions of the negotiating situation and the ways in which these definitions changed; the psychological characteristics of the negotiating situation which fostered cooperative attitudes amongst the negotiations, including in particular the role of group forces. The paper also discusses more generally the relationship between psychological factors and objective conditions in achieving (or impeding) positive outcomes to negotiations around entrenched, seemingly untractable, political conflicts.</p> Janusz Reykowski Copyright (c) 2020 Janusz Reykowski Wed, 11 Mar 2020 00:00:00 -0700 Psychology and the Round Table Talks <p>Poland in 1988 was on the edge of economic, social and political collapse. The two antagonistic entities – the communist party and the government on one side and the Solidarity movement on the other - were each too weak to overcome the crisis by itself. Undertaking negotiations appeared to be the last chance to solve the crisis peacefully. There was a number of external circumstances and opportunities that supported undertaking the Talks, including Michail Gorbachev's perestroika in the East, Ronald Reagan's anti-communist policies in the West, the support of the Catholic Church and the support of the vast majority of Polish society. The whole Round Table story can be viewed as a transformation from a zero-sum game to a cooperative non zero-sum game with the solution close to a Pareto optimal solution. The processes included, among others: concentration on problems rather than people; building a mutual trust; creating the idea of the common good; and partitioning negotiations into many teams thereby creating a decision-making structure that was both hierarchical and flexible. After thirty years, both democracy and the rule of law are at stake again in Poland. Unfortunately, however, it does not seem that today’s socio-political situation is capable of fostering negotiation methods for solving the nation’s problems.</p> Janusz Grzelak Copyright (c) 2020 Janusz Grzelak Wed, 11 Mar 2020 00:00:00 -0700 Remaking History and Remaking Psychology: On the Contributions of Janusz Reykowski and Janusz Grzelak to the Polish Round Table Negotiations <p>In this introductory piece to the special issue, I seek to establish the importance of the topic under discussion: that is, the psychology of the 1989 Polish Round Table Talks. I start by underlining the unique opportunity to gain insight into this topic given that two of the main protagonists, Janusz Reykowski on the Government side and Janusz Grzelak on the Solidarity side, are social psychologists. Next, I argue for both the world-historical significance of the Round Table Talks and for the necessity of a psychological dimension to the analysis of what happened. I then address what Psychology provides for an understanding of the Round Table process and what the Round Table process contributes to an understanding of Psychology. Specifically, this turns on the need for a more complex and historical conceptualisation of intergroup relations in which the very nature of the groups in relation may be transformed. I conclude by pointing to further research opportunities on this key question of the configuration and reconfiguration of social groups.</p> Stephen Reicher Copyright (c) 2020 Stephen Reicher Wed, 11 Mar 2020 00:00:00 -0700 Perceptions of Shared Morality as an Important Socio-Psychological Mechanism for Finding the Common Ground <p>When we think of human history, it is easy to conclude that violent conflicts are unavoidable. Furthermore, in remembering history, we usually recall violent times and are less likely to remember peaceful societal change. Given the way we remember our history, it is easy to lose sight of the existence of peaceful conflict resolutions or other positive societal changes. The Polish Round Table Talks (RT) that took place in 1989 at times of growing political and economic instabilities serve as an example of peaceful and effective negotiation between two opposing and, one might argue, exclusive ideologies. These talks resulted in an agreement between the Communist government of Poland and the opposition movement Solidarity and paved the road towards the present, democratic and independent Polish state. In this commentary I am going to extrapolate some important socio-psychological mechanisms in the light of contributions made by Janusz Reykowski and Janusz Grzelak - both social psychologists. More specifically, I would like to discuss a specific perception of the other negotiating partner that was activated, formed and maintained during the negotiation, which facilitated the successful outcome. I will argue that the perception of shared morality (perceptions of similarity between the in-group and the out-group on the dimension of morality) was an important socio-psychological mechanism that enabled a stream of other positive psychological processes such as development of trust, as well as cooperative and common-oriented goal tendencies.</p> Sabina Čehajić-Clancy Copyright (c) 2020 Sabina Čehajić-Clancy Wed, 11 Mar 2020 00:00:00 -0700 Examining the Round Table Talks From the Perspective of the Needs-Based Model of Reconciliation: Observations and Insights <p>This commentary analyzes the democratization process triggered by the Polish Round Table Talks using the framework of the Needs-Based Model of Reconciliation, which conceptualizes reconciliation as a social exchange transaction in which perpetrators gain moral-social acceptance, whereas victims gain power. I argue that the talks allowed the restoration of communists’ moral-social identity, and Solidarity’s power and voice. I further argue that to complete such a transaction, both parties must believe that they would gain more through compromise than through violence. They must also overcome the “magnitude gap”; namely the systematic discrepancy between victims’ vs. perpetrators’ estimation of the severity or immorality of the same transgressions or social arrangements. Finally, as is the case for any exchange transaction, people may question its benefits. When doing so, however, they might take the non-violent nature of the transition to democracy for granted—due to “the hindsight bias.” Taking into account that the alternatives were probably worse may contribute to undermining conspiracy theories about “dirty dealings” between the parties, and commemorating the legacy of the Round Table Talks as an inspiring moment in history.</p> Nurit Shnabel Copyright (c) 2020 Nurit Shnabel Wed, 11 Mar 2020 00:00:00 -0700 Moving Beyond the Past: The Role of Historical Closure in Conflict Resolution <p>This article discusses the role of historical closure in conflict resolution and reconciliation, departing from the example of the Polish Round Table negotiations in 1989. The concept of a “thick line” (“Gruba kreska” or “Schlussstrich”) was used in several historical contexts, showing the intention to detach from history when resolving pressing current societal issues. Historical evidence suggests that it was an intentionally chosen strategy by both sides taking part in the Round Table negotiations in 1989. Historical closure is known to have good consequences for building mutual trust, improving attitudes and making contact interventions more effective in improving intergroup relations. This is mostly attributed to the fact that historical crimes can have a long-standing impact on intergroup relations: past victimhood and perpetratorship lead to current grievances, denial, and mistrust. Only when these historical roles are overcome can both parties achieve any agreement. At the same time, historical closure breeds a sense of injustice among political followers and gives birth to numerous conspiracy theories. This article analyzes these problems in the Polish context and beyond.</p> Michał Bilewicz Copyright (c) 2020 Michal Bilewicz Wed, 11 Mar 2020 00:00:00 -0700 “The Stolen Transition” - Conspiracy Theories in Post-Communist and Post-Democratic Hungary <p>Similar to Poland, Hungary also experienced a peaceful transition from communism to democracy and market economy. The Hungarian Round Table Talks were organized in 1989, following the successful Polish model. While the Round Table Talks were similarly crucial in Hungary and in Poland in paving the way for institutional and political changes, and concluded in a very successful manner for the opposition parties, conspiracy theories similar to those seen in Poland (see Soral and Kofta in this issue) are proliferating in Hungary as well. The article argues that the rejection of the “compromises” around the transition is due to the very nature of populism: it likes black-and-white, Manichean logic. This article briefly introduces the process of the Round Table Talks and summarizes the literature’s findings on the general social psychological impacts of the transitions. Transitions always provide fertile ground for conspiracy theorizing as they are unexpected even with widespread consequences that fall beyond the control of most members of a society. But in Hungary, these conspiracy theories have been politically exploited in order to fuel discontent towards the democratic institutions - and in this way, they were instrumental in the “second transition”, the illiberal de-democratization after 2010.</p> Péter Krekó Copyright (c) 2020 Péter Krekó Wed, 11 Mar 2020 00:00:00 -0700 Belief in the Round Table Conspiracy and Political Division in Poland <p>The functions of the conspiracy theory surrounding the ’89 Round Table in present-day political life are discussed. In the online research conducted in 2018 on a representative sample of Polish citizens, we found that attitudes towards the Round Table are an important marker of the fundamental political division in Poland. Those who supported the current rule of PiS (with a nationalistic-authoritarian orientation) agreed with the ’89 Round Table conspiracy theory, whereas those who supported the liberal opposition against PiS rejected the ’89 Round Table conspiracy theory. Moreover, believers in the Round Table conspiracy appeared to trust politicians and justify the system to a higher degree than those who rejected this conspiracy theory. We also found that endorsement of the conspiracy theory of the ’89 Round Table was significantly associated with the stability of voting preferences. Among those who voted for PiS, conspiracy theory believers formed a stable electorate, whereas among those who voted for parties with a liberal orientation, theory believers were likely to change their voting preferences. Thus, belief in the discussed conspiracy is not only a part of some ideological landscape but also has direct behavioral consequences. The social-psychological reasons for the growing popularity of the ’89 Round Table conspiracy theory are discussed.</p> Mirosław Kofta, Wiktor Soral Copyright (c) 2020 Mirosław Kofta, Wiktor Soral Wed, 11 Mar 2020 00:00:00 -0700 Round Table Talks Did Not Happen in a Vacuum: The Political Solidarity Model of Social Change and Polish Transition to Democracy <p>Theories of social change developed within social psychology are rarely employed to interpret historical events. This is a serious neglect, as a social-psychological perspective has the capacity to inform our understanding of long-term processes that prepare the ground for major political breakthroughs. In this commentary, I utilize the political solidarity model of social change (Subašić, Reynolds, &amp; Turner, 2008, to examine Poland’s path to democracy. Using a tripolar division for the authority (i.e., communist leaders), the minority (i.e., democratic opposition), and the majority (i.e., unengaged citizens), I argue that the Round Table Talks of 1989 originated from two interdependent social processes that precipitated in the late ’70s. Whereas one of these processes encompassed the loss of popular support for the Communist Party, the other one involved an increase in the majority’s identification with the democratic opposition. I propose that without the co-occurrence of these two processes, the Round Table agreements would not have been possible.</p> Paulina Górska Copyright (c) 2020 Paulina Górska Wed, 11 Mar 2020 00:00:00 -0700 The Polish Round Table as a Blueprint for “Successful” Social Change? Some Thoughts on “Liberal Hindsight” in the Social Sciences <p>The Polish Round Table offers a rare historical example where negotiations between representatives of opposing political sides achieved major political transformation in a peaceful way. Such an outcome should undoubtedly be labeled a success. However, in our commentary, taking the example of the Polish Round Table, we take a critical look at the interpretation of success of social movements by social scientists. In line with the ethos of social sciences, social scientists value (harmoniously achieved) progressive types of change, such as the change that followed the negotiations of the Polish Round Table. Indeed, when it comes to the Round Table, our definition of success may be blurred by the political evaluation of the changes of 1989 from a liberal perspective. The target articles point out the importance of specific structural conditions (both internal and international) and psychological processes (perceptions of power, efficacy and moral commitment) that led to the successful outcome. We therefore argue that it is pivotal to delineate the conditions of success, if we want to apply them to other contexts without bias. Neither hindsight, nor liberal bias are problematic per se, but they can evoke a form of wishful thinking that, as scientists, we may want to treat with some skepticism.</p> Anna Kende, Martijn van Zomeren Copyright (c) 2020 Anna Kende Wed, 11 Mar 2020 00:00:00 -0700 Turning Points at the Round Table Talks <p>At the beginning of the 1990s the “winds of change” blew through Europe, leading to the fall of Communism and regime change in several Eastern-European countries. The domino effect started in Poland with the Round Table negotiations that ultimately led to democratization of the country. The context that allowed this historical event to occur has been studied, but the talks themselves have not been analyzed in detail. In this article, we undertake this task. Using several complementary analytical approaches – negotiation theory, turning points analysis and dynamical systems – we study the process of getting to an agreement, focusing on the seven key issues of the negotiations. We treat the Round Table Talks both as a unique case of negotiations, given its structure and the context in which it happened, as well as an event comparable to other negotiations and connecting to the broader negotiation literature. Results of our inquiries show the importance of procedures during the talks and highlight the role played by motivation in propelling the negotiating parties to an agreement. We discuss the implications of our findings for negotiation theory and for the broader context of the historical event.</p> Daniel Druckman, Dominika Bulska, Łukasz Jochemczyk Copyright (c) 2020 Daniel Druckman, Dominika Bulska, Łukasz Jochemczyk Wed, 11 Mar 2020 00:00:00 -0700