Send to

Choose Destination
Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2013 Sep;1299:11-24. doi: 10.1111/nyas.12275.

Sacred values in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict: resistance to social influence, temporal discounting, and exit strategies.

Author information

New School for Social Research, New York, New York.


Conflicts over sacred values may be particularly difficult to resolve. Because sacred values are nonfungible with material values, standard attempts to negotiate, such as offering material incentives to compromise, often backfire, increasing moral outrage and support for violent action. We present studies with Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza demonstrating three other ways sacred values may make conflict more intractable, focusing on what we call devoted actors, people who regard issues central to the Israel-Palestine conflict as sacred values. We show that devoted actors (1) were less amenable to social influence, (2) perceived conflict-related events in the past as well as expected events in the future to be temporally closer, and (3) were blind to individual opportunities to escape the conflict. These results suggest that sacred values may affect decision making in a number of ways, which, when combined, contribute to common defense and continuation of conflict.


Palestinians; devoted actors; intergroup conflict; protected values; sacred values

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Wiley Icon for MLibrary (Deep Blue)
Loading ...
Support Center