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  1. Humiliation and the Inertia Effect: Implications for Understanding Violence and Compromise in Intractable Intergroup Conflicts.Jeremy Ginges & Scott Atran - 2008 - Journal of Cognition and Culture 8 (3-4):281-294.
    We investigated the influence of humiliation on inter-group conflict in three studies of Palestinians living in the West Bank and Gaza. We demonstrate that experienced humiliation produces an inertia effect; a tendency towards inaction that suppresses rebellious or violent action but which paradoxically also suppresses support for acts of inter-group compromise. In Study 1, Palestinians who felt more humiliated by the Israeli occupation were less likely to support suicide attacks against Israelis. In Study 2, priming Palestinians with a humiliating experience (...)
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  • Neural and Behavioral Correlates of Sacred Values and Vulnerability to Violent Extremism.Clara Pretus, Nafees Hamid, Hammad Sheikh, Jeremy Ginges, Adolf Tobeña, Richard Davis, Oscar Vilarroya & Scott Atran - 2018 - Frontiers in Psychology 9.
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  • The Making of a Terrorist: A Need for Understanding From the Field Testimony Before the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Homeland Security, Washington, DC, March 12, 2008.Scott Atran - unknown
    Soccer, paintball, camping, hiking, rafting, body building, martial arts training and other forms of physically stimulating and intimate group action create a bunch of buddies, which becomes a “band of brothers” in a simple heroic cause. It's usually enough that a few of these action buddies identify with a cause, and its heroic path to glory and esteem in the eyes of peers, for the rest to follow even unto death. Humans need to socially organize, to lead and be led; (...)
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  • Emerging Sacred Values: The Iranian Nuclear Program.Morteza Dehghani, Rumen Iliev, Scott Atran, Jeremy Ginges & Douglas Medin - unknown
    Sacred values are different from secular values in that they are often associated with violations of the cost-benefit logic of rational choice models. Previous work on sacred values has been largely limited to religious or territorial conflicts deeply embedded in historical contexts. In this work we find that the Iranian nuclear program, a relatively recent development, is treated as sacred by some Iranians, leading to a greater disapproval of deals which involve monetary incentives to end the program. Our results suggest (...)
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  • What Motivates Participation in Violent Political Action: Selective Incentives or Parochial Altruism?Jeremy Ginges & Scott Atran - unknown
    In standard models of decision making, participation in violent political action is understood as the product of instrumentally rational reasoning. According to this line of thinking, instrumentally rational individuals will participate in violent political action only if there are selective incentives that are limited to participants. We argue in favor of an alternate model of political violence where participants are motivated by moral commitments to collective sacred values. Correlative and experimental empirical evidence in the context of the Israeli–Palestinian conflict strongly (...)
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  • The Evolution of Religion: How Cognitive By-Products, Adaptive Learning Heuristics, Ritual Displays, and Group Competition Generate Deep Commitments to Prosocial Religions.Scott Atran & Joseph Henrich - 2010 - Biological Theory 5 (1):18-30.
    Understanding religion requires explaining why supernatural beliefs, devotions, and rituals are both universal and variable across cultures, and why religion is so often associated with both large-scale cooperation and enduring group conflict. Emerging lines of research suggest that these oppositions result from the convergence of three processes. First, the interaction of certain reliably developing cognitive processes, such as our ability to infer the presence of intentional agents, favors—as an evolutionary by-product—the spread of certain kinds of counterintuitive concepts. Second, participation in (...)
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  • How Do Rituals Affect Cooperation?Ronald Fischer, Rohan Callander, Paul Reddish & Joseph Bulbulia - 2013 - Human Nature 24 (2):115-125.
    Collective rituals have long puzzled anthropologists, yet little is known about how rituals affect participants. Our study investigated the effects of nine naturally occurring rituals on prosociality. We operationalized prosociality as (1) attitudes about fellow ritual participants and (2) decisions in a public goods game. The nine rituals varied in levels of synchrony and levels of sacred attribution. We found that rituals with synchronous body movements were more likely to enhance prosocial attitudes. We also found that rituals judged to be (...)
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