An introduction to evolutionary psychology and its application to suicide terrorism

Behavioral Sciences of Terrorism and Political Aggression 3:176-197 (2011)
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This article introduces evolutionary psychology to a general readership, with the purpose of applying evolutionary psychology to suicide terrorism. Some of the key concepts related to evolutionary psychology are discussed, as well as several misconceptions associated with this approach to psychology. We argue that one of the primary, but insufficient, motivating factors for suicide terrorism is strong religious belief. Evolutionary psychological theories related to religious belief, and supporting empirical work, are described, laying a foundation for examining suicide terrorism. Several promising directions for future research on suicide terrorism from an evolutionary psychological perspective are highlighted, particularly within the theoretical framework of kin selection, and the implications of applying evolutionary psychology to suicide terrorism are discussed.



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Lance Bush
Cornell University (PhD)

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