The image of “conflict”: the content of the stereotype towards Palestinian and Israelis is influenced by the media

Authors: Roberto M. Lobato, Miguel Moya & Humberto Trujillo*


Spanish stereotypes towards Palestinians and Israelis are based, among other things, on the information which the media broadcasts on these two groups. In order to check the stereotypes of the Spanish people towards both groups and whether the news affects those stereotypes (depending on which of the two groups was the aggressor), a quasi-experimental investigation was conducted, regarding a manipulated variable at three levels. The manipulation was carried out by presenting three formats of news: a story about an attack from Palestine on Israel, and an attack by Israel on Palestine or no news whatsoever. To assess the stereotypes, an instrument through which positive, negative and neutral stereotypical characteristics were obtained was used. The results of both studies with Spanish samples revealed that the content of the stereotypes attributed to Palestinians and Israelis consist, primarily of categories relating to conflict/violence, personality, ideology, and religion. Stereotypes provided by the Spanish were mostly negative, due to the higher frequency of negative characteristics which were attributed to both groups. In turn, the manipulation confirmed that it was the act of attack described in the news what increased the negative content of the stereotype. These results could be the key indicator for the image of both groups distorted by the news media, which creates a quite similar perception of thereof and becoming clear when the attacks ensues between them.


Keywords: Stereotypes, Palestinians, Israelis, mass media.


*Departamento de Psicología Social y de Metodología de las Ciencias del Comportamiento, Universidad de Granada, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

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