© Oxford University Press, 2014. Suicidal attacks are a warfare tactic rooted in lethal altruism, a highly damaging drift away from people's more generous tendencies. Martyrs who commit these acts are extreme altruists by definition: They offer their lives as a supreme investment for others' interests. Individual differences in altruism have been measured using scales and economic games that have led to a growing understanding of their genetic and neurohormonal basis. Analyzing that in relation to suicide martyrdom leads to a question: Are there pockets of individuals among all populations who are willing to make high-cost investments of trust/sacrifice in nonkin others, particularly at war? Disentangling the neurocognitive attributes of altruism and its relationship to other traits mediating martyrdom proneness is a vital task to understand the genesis of suicidal attacks. A temperamental workspace for warriors encompassing the trait dimensions of dominance- submission, Machiavellianism-gullibility, and selfishness-altruism is outlined to frame the main clusters mediating violent martyrdom.
|Title of host publication||Pathological Altruism|
|Publication status||Published - 19 Jan 2012|
- Suicide attacks