Archive for August 27th, 2015


The Psychology of Projection in Conflict

Human Wrongs Watch

By Robert J. Burrowes*

26 August 2015

Understanding human conflict requires us to understand human psychology. And it is only when we understand the psychology that drives conflict that we can take intelligent steps to address it.

Robert J. Burrowes

Robert J. Burrowes

Unfortunately, understanding the psychology of conflict is not easy and I would like to illustrate one significant problem in this regard and explain what we can do about it.

That problem is what is often called ‘projection’ or ‘transference’ and it illustrates the importance of emotional, as distinct from intellectual, content in any conflict.

Let me start by quoting a few carefully selected words from a lengthy dialogue recently published.

The dialogue took place between two Israelis, two Palestinians and several individuals from other countries and was focused on the Israeli occupation of Palestine.

It was concluded by the moderator’s observation that ‘our discussion has reached an impasse’.

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