At the teacher orientation at the college where I started teaching, Northland College in Wisconsin, I asked one of the psychologists if he might be willing to come talk to my nonviolence class sometime about the role of psychology in nonviolence. He looked at me blankly, asking, "What does psychology have to do with nonviolence?"
I looked quizzically back and said, "Well, without psychology we have no chance for nonviolence to work at all." That is not quite true, but close.
If someone is believing you hate him and you will use any tactics to hurt or destroy him, he will have all the permission and in fact prompting to use brutal tactics either in response or preemptively to stop you.
If someone believes you respect his personhood and only disagree about issues, he is at least inclined to let you live another day to lodge another fruitless protest. Fear is the precursor to most violence but fear is diminished bilaterally by unilateral refrain from violence. That is the beginning of the power of nonviolence. It is simply psychologically adaptive to lower levels of fear if you'd like to live to make the other strategies of nonviolence work.
May 2010 be the Year of Nonviolent Success
in the USA