The devoted actor’s will to fight and the spiritual dimension of human conflict

@article{Gmez2017TheDA,
  title={The devoted actor’s will to fight and the spiritual dimension of human conflict},
  author={{\'A}ngel G{\'o}mez and Luc{\'i}a L{\'o}pez‐Rodr{\'i}guez and Hammad Sheikh and Jeremy Ginges and Lydia Wilson and Hoshang Waziri and Alexandra V{\'a}zquez and Richard J. Davis and Scott Atran},
  journal={Nature Human Behaviour},
  year={2017},
  volume={1},
  pages={673-679}
}
Frontline investigations with fighters against the Islamic State (ISIL or ISIS), combined with multiple online studies, address willingness to fight and die in intergroup conflict. The general focus is on non-utilitarian aspects of human conflict, which combatants themselves deem ‘sacred’ or ‘spiritual’, whether secular or religious. Here we investigate two key components of a theoretical framework we call ‘the devoted actor’—sacred values and identity fusion with a group—to better understand… 
Measures of devotion to ISIS and other fighting and radicalized groups.
  • S. Atran
  • Medicine, Psychology
    Current opinion in psychology
  • 2020
The aim and effect of transnational terrorism today - stemming from both Islamic revivalism and ethno-nationalist resurgence - are to fragment social consensus by forcing people into opposing camps,
Dying for the group: Towards a general theory of extreme self-sacrifice
  • H. Whitehouse
  • Medicine, Psychology
    Behavioral and Brain Sciences
  • 2018
TLDR
This paper attempts to integrate many of these factors into a single overarching theory based on several decades of collaborative research with a range of special populations, from tribes in Papua New Guinea to Libyan insurgents and from Muslim fundamentalists in Indonesia to Brazilian football hooligans.
Neuroimaging ‘will to fight’ for sacred values: an empirical case study with supporters of an Al Qaeda associate
TLDR
Brain activity in radicalized individuals as they indicated their willingness to fight and die for sacred and non-sacred values, and as they reacted to peers' ratings for the same values are measured to cohere with a view that ‘devoted actors’ motivated by an extreme commitment towards sacred values rely on distinctive neurocognitve processes that can be identified.
From Total Islam to the Islamic State: Radicalization Leading to Violence Dynamics as a Subject of Reciprocal Affordance Opportunities
This article aims to clarify the role of the Islamic State’s (a.k.a. ISIS) online activities on radicalization. To that effect, all empirical endeavors on the underpinning phenomenon in Vox-Pol’s
Stories From Jihadists: Significance, Identity, and Radicalization Through the Call for Jihad
The present study aims to explore how narratives, stories, and memories are planted in the Jihadists’ mind. In particular, the primary concern of this study is the interests of Indonesian Muslims to
Admiration for Islamist groups encourages self-sacrifice through identity fusion
The psychological mechanisms that lead terrorists to make costly sacrifices for their ideological convictions are of great theoretical and practical importance. We investigate two key components of
Neural and Behavioral Correlates of Sacred Values and Vulnerability to Violent Extremism
TLDR
Results suggest that sacralization of values interacts with willingness to engage in extreme behavior in populations vulnerable to radicalization, and social exclusion may be a relevant factor motivating violent extremism and consolidation of sacred values.
The role of vulnerable environments in support for homegrown terrorism: Fieldwork using the 3N model.
TLDR
This work hypothesized that individuals living in social environments known to be vulnerable are more likely to experience a sense of significance loss, find solace in religious social networks, and adhere to radical narratives and a study with 365 young Muslims from different cities in Spain supported these predictions.
Threat Enhances Aggressive Inclinations Among Devoted Actors Via Increase in Their Relative Physical Formidability
TLDR
Analysis of the effect of threat and the two components of the devoted actor framework—identity fusion and sacred values—on aggressive inclinations suggests that devoted actors might be more prone to self-sacrifice, but also to attack those who threaten their group or values.
The Psychological Burden of the COVID-19 Pandemic Is Associated With Antisystemic Attitudes and Political Violence
TLDR
Overall, levels of antisystemic attitudes were low, and only a small share of interviewees reported behavioral intentions to participate in and actual participation in political violence, but preregistered analyses indicated that perceived COVID-19 burden was associated with antisSystemic attitudes and intentions to engage in political Violence.
...
1
2
3
4
5
...

References

SHOWING 1-10 OF 101 REFERENCES
The Devoted Actor: Unconditional Commitment and Intractable Conflict across Cultures
  • S. Atran
  • Sociology
    Current Anthropology
  • 2016
Uncompromising wars, revolution, rights movements, and today’s global terrorism are in part driven by “devoted actors” who adhere to sacred, transcendent values that generate actions dissociated from
Devoted actors sacrifice for close comrades and sacred cause
What inspires the willingness of humans to make their greatest exertions, to fight unto death with and for genetic strangers, a propensity to which no creature but humans seems subject? What
Psychology out of the laboratory: the challenge of violent extremism.
TLDR
The challenge to psychology is to adopt an interdisciplinary focus drawing on a range of research methods and to become bolder in its choices of study populations if it is to be relevant to real-world problems.
Sacred values and conflict over Iran's nuclear program
Conflict over Iran's nuclear program, which involves a US-led policy to impose sanctions on Iran, is perceived by each side as a preeminent challenge to its own national security and global peace.
Dying and Killing for One’s Group
TLDR
Using an intergroup version of the trolley problem, participants’ willingness to sacrifice their lives for their group is explored and the nature of identity fusion and its relationship to related constructs are discussed.
Religious and Sacred Imperatives in Human Conflict
TLDR
In conflict situations, otherwise mundane sociopolitical preferences may become sacred values, acquiring immunity to material incentives and sustain intractable conflicts that defy “business-like” negotiation, but also provide surprising opportunities for resolution.
Who Fights? The Determinants of Participation in Civil War
A range of seemingly rival theories attempt to explain why some individuals take extraordinary risks by choosing to participate in armed conflict. To date, however, competing accounts have typically
Nationalism, Ethnic Conflict, and Rationality
Why do we have so many ethnic partisans in the world ready to die as suicide bombers? Does a rational calculus lie beneath the nationalist pride and passions? Can it be discovered if only we apply
Virtuous Violence: Hurting and Killing to Create, Sustain, End, and Honor Social Relationships
The point 1. Why are people violent? 2. Violence is morally motivated to regulate social relationships 3. Defense, punishment, and vengeance 4. The right and obligation of parents, police, kings, and
The evolution of extreme cooperation via shared dysphoric experiences
TLDR
A mathematical model shows how conditioning cooperation on previous shared experience can allow individually costly pro-group behavior to evolve, and empirical results show that sharing painful experiences produces “identity fusion” – a visceral sense of oneness – which in turn can motivate self-sacrifice, including willingness to fight and die for the group.
...
1
2
3
4
5
...