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Behav Brain Sci. 2014 Aug;37(4):366-7. doi: 10.1017/S0140525X13003385.

Cognitive simplicity and self-deception are crucial in martyrdom and suicide terrorism.

Author information

1
Department of Biological Personality Psychology and Assessment, and Courant Research Centre Evolution of Social Behavior,University of Göttingen,Kellnerweg 6,D-37077 Göttingen,Germany. bernhard.fink@ieee.org www.evolutionary-psychology.de
2
Graduate Program in Ecology and Evolution,Rutgers University,New Brunswick,NJ 08901. trivers@rci.rutgers.edu www.roberttrivers.com

Abstract

Suicide attacks and terrorism are characterized by cognitive simplicity, which is related to self-deception. In justifying violence in pursuit of ideologically and/or politically driven commitment, people with high religious commitment may be particularly prone to mechanisms of self-deception. Related megalomania and glorious self-perception are typical of self-deception, and are thus crucial in the emergence and expression of (suicide) terrorism.

PMID:
25162844
DOI:
10.1017/S0140525X13003385
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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