Statement on violence and war in the Middle East

The Society for Affective Science is heartbroken by the recent acts of terror initiated by Hamas on Israel and the ensuing psychological harm, physical suffering, and loss of life that has been inflicted on innocent Israelis and Palestinians. Against the backdrop of the on-going war and humanitarian crisis in Ukraine, it is all too clear that more must be done by our world leaders to put a halt to terrorism, intergroup hate and violence, and the multitude of effects they exert on innocent people across the globe. We condemn anti-Semitism, anti-Arab sentiments, and terrorism.

We stand in solidarity with our colleagues and fellow SAS members in these regions of conflict, as well as their families, loved ones, and allies around the world. Our hearts go out to you, and we hope and pray for your safety, for the hostages to return home, and for a quick resolution to this war.

In times of great conflict, we – as a community of scholars and scientists – can leverage our expertise to inform policies that will help to address human suffering. As scientists who study emotions, trauma, violence and aggression, intergroup conflict, dehumanization, and insecurity, we know the profound impact of these phenomena on mental health, physical health, and well-being. The effects on human life and flourishing are long-term, and children are some of the most likely to be impacted when they live in fear, lose caregivers, and lack access to basic necessities. The impacts of war and violence also extend to those around the globe watching from afar, who fear and grieve for loved ones, or who watch in horror as the media reveals each day’s new atrocities. We thus hope you are taking care and doing what you can to process and heal in the short term.

To those SAS members not on the front lines, we urge you as experts in human emotions, motivated processes, and interpersonal conflict and reconciliation to contribute however you can towards the goals of peace and conflict resolution, whether through your research, teaching, service, or personal contributions to organizations on the front lines. Let us urge world leaders to heed evidence-backed methods of conflict resolution and to put an end to terror, violence, and human suffering. And let us stand together in our hope for peace.

The Society for Affective Science Executive Board

Maital Neta, President
Kristen Lindquist, President-Elect
Maya Tamir, Past President
Christian Waugh, Secretary
Christopher Oveis, Treasurer
Rachael Jack, Member at Large
Nicole Giuliani, Member at Large

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Issue 6 – Spotlight

Contributed by Angelina Sung, MS The Society for Affective Science Student Committee (SASSC) is dedicated to...

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