Do Textbooks Shape Attitudes Toward War? Narrative ‘Images’ and Implicit Social Cognition

By Noemi Andrusello – To explore the relationship between history education and attitudes to war, narrative primes about World War II were read by 20 undergraduate students at California State University, Fresno. Afterwards, in the course of experimental interviews, participants responded to news of a hypothetical terrorist attack and shared policy solutions and opinions about war. Analysis revealed that interview responses were patterned by narrative. While readers of an ‘enemy’ narrative conveyed feelings of loss, aggressive policies, and war support, readers of ‘ally’ and ‘imperialist…