Psychologists for Peace

Tips for Promoting Peace

Psychologists for Peace prepared a list of ways to promote peace. Click here for a downloadable pdf version.


Ten Ways You Can Promote Peace

  1. Develop your understanding of the frames of mind that promote conflict and violence against another group

    • The perception that another group threatens our well-being
    • A sense of uncertainty about our safety and security
    • The belief that our own group is superior to another group
  2. Develop your understanding of the strong emotions that underpin conflict and violence

    • Anger about a provoking event and fear of future events can support an aggressive orientation towards others
    • If anger and fear develop into hatred, others are likely to be perceived as evil; thereby, supporting harmful intentions towards them
  3. Pay attention to the ways that language and channels of communication are used to support conflict and violence

    • The lives of others may be devalued by public rhetoric and media reports that reduce moral concern for them
    • Beware that public beliefs may be shaped to condone violence against another group and cast aggression in a morally positive frame
  4. Recognise that social inequalities are unjust and fuel misery, conflict and violence

    • Attune yourself to the social conditions that undermine individual and collective well-being such as poverty and discrimination
    • Advocate for equalities in human rights, health care, opportunities, safety and security
  5. Dig beneath the surface level, negative stereotypes of another group to achieve a deeper understanding of their identity and concerns

    • Find ways for dialogue and collaborative interaction with people who have diverse backgrounds, different perspectives, and dissimilar values.
  6. Maintain a critical perspective toward the beliefs and actions of your own group

    • Be willing to question authority, express dissent and offer constructive alternatives when your own group's actions cause harm or compromise social justice and peaceful relations
  7. Recognise and appreciate experiences of shared humanity across diverse groups

    • Extend your perspective and empathy by focusing on the common joys and sufferings of all humans
  8. Join groups that have a peace or social justice mission in order to reap the benefits of mutual support and collective action

    • Donate time and money to such causes
  9. Strive for humane understandings and harmonious relations in your own daily life

    • Learn about and use constructive ways to manage differences and resolve conflict
    • Practice forgiveness and acts of kindness
  10. Find ways to nourish your hope, commitment and energy for peace

    • Access information about successful peace initiatives
    • Find roles models to inspire you and like-minded others for support



Bar-Tal, D. (2007). Sociopsychological foundations of intractable conflicts. American Behavioral Scientist50(11), 1430-1453.

Christie, D. J., & Montiel, C. J. (2013). Contributions of psychology to war and peace. American Psychologist68(7), 502.

Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Division for Social Policy and Development (2006). The International Forum for Social Development: Social justice in an open world: The role of the United Nations. New York, USA: United Nations.

Leidner, B., Tropp, L. R., & Lickel, B. (2013). Bringing science to bear—on peace, not war: Elaborating on psychology’s potential to promote peace. American Psychologist68(7), 514.

Nelson, L. L. (2014). Peace psychology should include the study of peaceful individuals. American Psychologist69(6), 626a.

Pinker, S. (2011). The better angels of our nature: A history of violence and humanity. London, UK: Penguin Books.