Bernhard Leidner

Assistant Professor
Department of Psychology, Peace and Violence Program

Berni Leidner received his PhD from the New School for Social Research in New York City in 2010, and came to UMass-Amherst in the summer of 2011. His research focuses on processes of social identification and intergroup relations, primarily in the context of large social categories such as nations and ethnic groups. Specifically, his research is at the crossroad of the social psychological areas of norms and morality (e.g., moral disengagement in response to ingroup wrongdoings), intergroup threat (e.g., threat-induced shifting of moral principles such as fairness or loyalty), and social justice (e.g., reparations after ingroup wrongdoings; conflict resolution). Some of the topics Dr. Leidner has investigated include reactions to ingroup-committed torture; American justice appraisals after atrocities committed in Iraq and Afghanistan; and reconciliation strategies in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. He is currently interested in the search and need for meaning as motives for human “warlikeness” and peacefulness.

Recent Publications:

  • Bernhard Leidner, Linda R. Tropp, and Brian Lickel. 2013. “Bringing Science to Bear – on Peace, Not War: Elaborating on Psychology’s Potential to Promote Peace.” American Psychologist 68(7): 514-26.
  • Leidner, B., Castano, E., & Ginges, J. (2013). "Dehumanization, retributive and restorative justice, and aggressive versus diplomatic intergroup conflict resolution strategies." Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 39(2), 181-192.

Keywords: intergroup conflict, intergroup violence, intergroup peace, intergroup processes, aggression, domestic violence, social research