Recent Press/Research

The Devoted Actor as Parochial Altruist: Sectarian Morality, Identity Fusion, and Support for Costly Sacrifices

“The Devoted Actor as Parochial Altruist: Sectarian Morality, Identity Fusion, andSupport for Costly Sacrifices” Hammad Sheikh, Scott Atran, Jeremy Ginges, Lydia Wilson, Nadine Obeid, and Richard Davis (2014), Cliodynamics 5(1)  Abstract We explore how Darwinian notions of moral virtue and parochial altruism may relate to the emerging cognitive framework of the devoted actor who undertakes extreme actions in defense of group values. After…Read More »

For Cause and Comrade: Devoted Actors and Willingness to Fight

“For Cause and Comrade: Devoted Actors and Willingness to Fight” Scott Atran, Hammad Sheikh, and Angel Gomez (2014), Cliodynamics 5(1). Abstract This report provides initial evidence that “devoted actors” who are unconditionally committed to a sacred cause, as well as to their comrades,willingly make costly sacrifices, including fighting and dying. Although American military analysts since WWII tend…Read More »

Multi-Method Assessment of ISIL, “The Devoted Actor, Sacred Values, and Willingness to Fight: Preliminary Studies with ISIL Volunteers and Kurdish Frontline Fighters”

“The Devoted Actor, Sacred Values, and Willingness to Fight“ Center on Terrorism colleagues Dr. Scott Atran, Lydia Wilson, Richard Davis, and Hammad Sheikh, with the assistance of ARTIS Research, University of Oxford, and Minerva researchers, publish some of their early results from interviews performed on the ground in Iraq. This appeared as part of a larger compilation of varied approaches to understanding the threat of…Read More »