Advertisement

Negotiating Cultural Conflicts Over Sacred Values

  • Kate Jassin
  • Hammad Sheikh
  • Nadine Obeid
  • Nichole Argo
  • Jeremy GingesEmail author
Chapter
Part of the Advances in Group Decision and Negotiation book series (AGDN, volume 6)

Abstract

Most current approaches to negotiation of resource and political conflicts assume that parties to these conflicts are rational actors that weigh the costs and benefits of their choices, treat values as though they are fungible, and then act in a way that maximizes their benefits. However, recent research suggests that this is not the case. In other words, people do not treat all values as amenable to tradeoffs, but rather they distinguish between material values having to do with resource pricing and markets and sacred values that reside in the moral realm. Moreover, people seem to apply different reasoning to sacred vs. material values. Even more crucially, what is considered sacred and what is considered material varies among cultures. In this chapter we discuss research by us and others into the nature of sacred values in real world conflicts and the implications of the findings for ongoing political conflicts.

Keywords

Sacred values Material values Negotiation Political conflicts Backfire effect 

References

  1. Atran, S., Medin, D. L., & Ross, N. O. (2005). The cultural mind: Environmental decision-making and cultural modeling within and across populations. Psychological Review, 112(4), 744–776.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Baron, J., & Leshner, S. (2000). How serious are expressions of protected values? Journal of Experimental Psychology: Applied, 6, 183–194.Google Scholar
  3. Baron, J., & Spranca, M. (1997). Protected values. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 70, 1–16.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Dehghani, M., Iliev, R., Sachdeva, S., Atran, S., Ginges, J., & Medin, D. L. (2009). Emerging sacred values: Iran’s nuclear program. Journal of Judgment and Decision Making, 4, 930–933.Google Scholar
  5. Douglas, M. (1966). Purity and danger. New York: Routledge.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Durkheim, E. (1995/1912). The elementary forms of religious life. New York: Free Press.Google Scholar
  7. Eliade, M. (1957). The sacred and the profane. New York: Harcourt Press.Google Scholar
  8. Gelfand, M. J., Erez, M., & Aycan, Z. (2007). Cross-cultural organizational behavior. Annual Review of Psychology, 58, 479–514.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Ginges, J. (1997). Deterring the terrorist: A psychological evaluation of different strategies for deterring terrorism. Terrorism and Political Violence, 9, 170–185.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Ginges, J., & Atran, S. (2008). Humiliation and the inertia effect: Implications for understanding violence and compromise in intractable intergroup conflicts. Journal of Cognition and Culture, 8, 281–294.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Ginges, J., & Atran, S. (2009a). Noninstrumental reasoning over sacred values: An Indonesian case study. In D. M. Bartels, C. W. Bauman, L. J. Skitka, & D. L. Medin (Eds.), Psychology of learning and motivation (Moral judgment and decision making, Vol. 50). San Diego, CA: Academic.Google Scholar
  12. Ginges, J., & Atran, S. (2009b). What motivates participation in violent political action: Selective incentives or parochial altruism? Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 1167, 115–123.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Ginges, J., & Atran, S. (2011). War as a moral imperative (not just practical policy by other means). In Proceedings of the Royal Society: Biological Sciences. Online first publication, February 16, 2011.Google Scholar
  14. Ginges, J., Atran, S., Medin, D., & Shikaki, K. (2007). Sacred bounds on rational resolution of violent political conflict. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 104, 7357–7360.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Ginges, J., Atran, S., Sachdeva, S., & Medin, D. (2011). Psychology out of the laboratory: The challenge of violent extremism. American Psychologist, 66(6), 507–519.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Ginges, J., Hansen, I. G., & Norenzayan, A. (2009). Religion and popular support for suicide attacks. Psychological Science, 20, 224–230.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Iliev, R., Sachdeva, S., Bartels, D. M., Joseph, C., Suzuki, S., & Medin, D. L. (2009). Attending to moral values. In D. M. Bartels, C. W. Bauman, L. J. Skitka, & D. L. Medin (Eds.), Psychology of learning and motivation (Moral judgment and decision making, Vol. 50). San Diego, CA: Academic.Google Scholar
  18. Imai, L., & Gelfand, M. J. (2009). Culture and negotiation: Interdisciplinary perspectives. In R. S. Bhagat & R. M. Steers (Eds.), Handbook of culture, organizations, and work. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  19. Malhotra, D., & Ginges, J. (2010). Preferring balanced vs. advantageous peace agreements: A study of Israeli attitudes towards a two state solution. Judgment and Decision Making, 5, 420–427.Google Scholar
  20. Obeid, M. (2010). A lebanese confession: Why religious politics is bad for Lebanon. Harvard Kennedy School Review, 10, 104–108.Google Scholar
  21. Tetlock, P. (2003). Thinking the unthinkable: Sacred values and taboo cognitions. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 7, 320–324.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Tetlock, P. E., Kristel, O., Elson, B., Green, M., & Lerner, J. (2000). The psychology of the unthinkable: Taboo trade-offs, forbidden base rates, and heretical counter-factuals. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 78, 853–870.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Varshney, A. (2003). Nationalism, ethnic conflict and rationality. Perspectives on Politics, 1, 85–99.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kate Jassin
    • 1
  • Hammad Sheikh
    • 1
  • Nadine Obeid
    • 1
  • Nichole Argo
    • 1
  • Jeremy Ginges
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.New School for Social ResearchNew YorkUSA
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyNew School for Social ResearchNew YorkUSA

Personalised recommendations