Beat, Ignore, Force to Conform: Development and Initial Validation of a Multidimensional Scale of Acceptance of Collective Violence

  • Mikołaj Winiewski Faculty of Psychology, University of Warsaw, Poland
  • Dominika Bulska Institute for Social Sciences, University of Warsaw, Poland


Literature on collective violence usually treats an act of aggression as a unidimensional phenomenon—occurring or not. The social psychological perspective on intergroup relations shows, however, that different aspects of an intergroup situation (social context, differences in status, past relations) lead to different behaviors. This article describes the development and initial validation of the multifaceted concept of intergroup collective violence. In a series of three studies (N = 1,420, N = 1,000, N = 1,019) using mixed methodology, we constructed a scale for measuring acceptance of intergroup collective violence. Results show that it is a multidimensional phenomenon, dependent on 1) the ethnicity of the victims; 2) the perception of threat posed by them; and 3) the ideology. The results can have a substantial impact on the discipline, providing theoretical explanation of the differences in outbursts of violence in similar situations, such as pogroms.

Focus Section