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Award Abstract #0527396

Sacred Values in Decision Making and Cultural Conflict

NSF Org: SES
Divn Of Social and Economic Sciences
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Initial Amendment Date: September 14, 2005
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Latest Amendment Date: April 30, 2010
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Award Number: 0527396
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Award Instrument: Standard Grant
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Program Manager: Robert E. O'Connor
SES Divn Of Social and Economic Sciences
SBE Direct For Social, Behav & Economic Scie
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Start Date: September 15, 2005
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End Date: November 30, 2010 (Estimated)
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Awarded Amount to Date: $749,959.00
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Investigator(s): Scott Atran satran@umich.edu (Principal Investigator)
Douglas Medin (Co-Principal Investigator)
Jessica Stern (Co-Principal Investigator)
Jeremy Ginges (Co-Principal Investigator)
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Sponsor: University of Michigan Ann Arbor
3003 South State St. Room 1062
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1274 (734)763-6438
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NSF Program(s): HSD - DEC, RISK & UNCERTAINTY
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Program Reference Code(s): 0000, 7318, 7319, 7322, OTHR
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Program Element Code(s): 7322

ABSTRACT

This research probes human behavior that seems motivated "independently of its prospect of success," that is, by Sacred Values that often involve ethical or religious beliefs. The hypothesis is that sacred values - which encompass aspects of what philosophers, political scientists, sociologists, anthropologists and psychologists call moral, non-instrumental or protected values - are critical in generating and sustaining culturally distinct and often conflicting political and resource-management systems that people deem essential to cultural survival. To better understand and deal with this issue, the research: 1) provides a comprehensive theoretical framework and wide-ranging empirical analysis of the role of sacred values in judgment and decision making, and 2) shows how sacred values inform issues relating to cultural conflict. Results are geared to: 3) further possibilities for negotiation and adjudication of conflicting values over transcultural boundaries, and 4) reduce the threat of violence as people attempt to implement these values in an increasingly global competition for political, social and economic resources.

Current risk management approaches to resolving resource conflicts or countering terrorism often assume adversaries model the world on the basis of rational choices that are commensurable across cultures. Such assumptions are prevalent in risk assessment and modeling by foreign aid and international development projects run by institutions such as the World Bank and many NGOs, and by U.S. diplomatic, military and intelligence services as well. Psychological experiments, anthropological fieldwork and political science surveys relating to social conflicts over natural resources and terrorism encourage exploration of whether culturally distinct value frameworks constrain preferences and choices in ways not readily translatable (fungible, substitutable) across frameworks. Planning and acting in ignorance or disregard of different value frameworks may exacerbate conflict, with grievous loss of national treasure and lives.


PUBLICATIONS PRODUCED AS A RESULT OF THIS RESEARCH

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Bartels, D.M. & Medin, D.L.. "Are morally-motivated decision makers insensitive to the consequences of their choices?," Psychological Science, v.18, 2007, p. 24.

Tanner, C., Medin, D.L. & Iliev, R.. "Influence of deontological vs. consequentialist orientations on act choices and framing effects: When principles are more important than consequences," European Journal of Social Psychology, 2007.

Medin, D.L. & Bang, M.. "Perspective Taking, Diversity and Partnerships," American Psychological Association, v.22, 2008, p. online.

Atran, S., Axelrod, R. & Davis, R.. "Sacred barriers to conflict resolution," Science, v.317, 2007, p. 1039.

Atran, S. & Axelrod, R.. "Reframing Sacred Values," Negotiation Journal, v.24, 2008, p. 221.

Atran, S. Magouirk, J. & Ginges, J.. "Radical madrassas in Southeast Asia," CTC Sentinel (Combating Terrorism Center, West Point), v.1, 2008, p. 3.

Fischhoff, B., Atran, S. & Fischhoff, N.. "Counting casualties: A framework for respectful, useful records," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, v.34, 2007, p. 1.

Fischhoff, B., Atran, S., & Sageman, M.. ") Mutually Assured Support: A security doctrine for terrorist nuclear weapons threats," Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, v.618, 2008, p. 160.

Ginges, J. & Atran, S.. "Humiliation and the Inertia Effect: Implications for Understanding Violence and Compromise in Intractable Intergroup Conflicts," Journal of Cognition and Culture, v.8, 2008, p. 281.

Sachdeva, S., Iliev, R., Medin, D. L.. "Sinning saints and saintly sinners: The paradox of moral self-regulation.," Psychological Science, v.20, 2009, p. 523.


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BOOKS/ONE TIME PROCEEDING

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Sachdeva, S.. "Is it more wrong to care less? The effects of "more" and "less" on the quantity (in)sensitivity of protected values", 09/01/2006-08/31/2007,  2006, "Northwestern University".

Bartels, D.M.. "Accounting for some of the flexibility of morally-motivated judgment and decision making", 09/01/2006-08/31/2007,  2007, "Northwestern University".

Ginges, J. Atran, S. Medin, D. & Shakaki, S.. "Moral Barriers to the Rational Resolution of Conflict", 09/01/2006-08/31/2007, "Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences".

Bartels, D.M. & Bennis, W.M.. "Deontology and consequentialism in morally-motivated decision making", 09/01/2006-08/31/2007,  2006, "paper presented at the meeting of the Society for Judgment and Decision Making, Houston, TX".

Bartels, D.M.. "Accounting for some of the flexibility of moral value-driven judgment", 09/01/2006-08/31/2007,  2007, "Proceedings of the 29th Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society CogSci 2006".

Sachdeva, S.. "Is it more wrong to care less? The effects of "more" and "less" on the quantity (in)sensitivity of protected values", 09/01/2007-08/31/2008,  2006, "Northwestern University".

Bartels, D.M.. "Accounting for some of the flexibility of morally-motivated judgment and decision making", 09/01/2007-08/31/2008,  2007, "Northwestern University".

Ginges, J. Atran, S. Medin, D. & Shakaki, S.. "Moral Barriers to the Rational Resolution of Conflict", 09/01/2007-08/31/2008,  2007, "Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences".

Bartels, D.M. & Bennis, W.M.. "Deontology and consequentialism in morally-motivated decision making", 09/01/2007-08/31/2008,  2006, "paper presented at the meeting of the Society for Judgment and Decision Making, Houston, TX".

Bartels, D.M.. "Accounting for some of the flexibility of moral value-driven judgment", 09/01/2007-08/31/2008,  2007, "Proceedings of the 29th Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society CogSci 2006".


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