Investigating the effect of War Commemorations: A Replication and Extension of Watkins & Bastian 2019
Watkins, H. M. (University of Massachusetts, Amherst), Leidner, B. (University of Massachusetts, Amherst)
War commemorations increase U.S. resident’s positive moral emotions (e.g., pride, awe) towards U.S. soldiers, even more so than displays of military strength and power. This moral elevation is, in turn, positively related to support for war in general (Watkins & Bastian, 2019). We extended these findings in several ways. Whereas previous research used video stimuli, we compared participants’ responses on Remembrance Day to their responses two weeks previously. In the U.S., the U.K., and Australia, we replicated the effect of war commemorations on positive moral emotions towards ingroup soldiers. We also found that in Germany, Volkstrauertag (a national day of remembrance) increased positive moral emotions towards ingroup soldiers as well. In France, we did not find any effects of Remembrance Day on any of our outcome measures. However, in the U.S., the U.K., and Australia, we further found increased support for diplomatic solutions to geopolitical conflict, on Remembrance Day relative to baseline. We did not observe any changes in support for military solutions. We are currently following up these results, and will discuss them in light of the “preventative” and “inspirational” accounts of war commemorations developed by Watkins and Bastian (2019).
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