Attachment to land: The case of the land of Israel for American and Israeli Jews and the role of contagion

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political
ethnic
land
attachment
tradability
contagion
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Political Science
Psychology
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Rozin, Paul
Wolf, Sharon
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This is a first study on attachment to national and sacred land and land as a protected value. A measure of attachment to the land of Israel is developed and administered to two groups, Jewish college students in Israel and the United States. Levels of land attachment are high and not significantly different in the two groups, with a great deal of variation. Land may become more important through being inhabited by a group over centuries. This is a positive contagion effect, and is opposed in some cases by negative contagion produced when the "enemies" live on the land for some period of time. We demonstrate a significant correlation of positive contagion sensitivity with attachment to the land of Israel. Unlike many other cases of the interaction of positive and negative contagion, negative contagion does not overwhelm positive contagion in the domain of land attachment. We also present evidence for linkages between political positions, religiosity, importance of Israel, Arab aversion, and vulnerability of Israel with attachment to land, but these do not fully account for the contagion effects. A number of significant differences between Israelis and Americans are described.

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2008-04-01
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Judgment and Decision Making
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