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Advances in Culture and Psychology$
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Michele J. Gelfand, Chi-yue Chiu, and Ying-yi Hong

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199336715

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:osobl/9780199336715.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 04 December 2021

Sacred Values and Cultural Conflict

Sacred Values and Cultural Conflict

(p.273) Chapter 6 Sacred Values and Cultural Conflict
Advances in Culture and Psychology

Jeremy Ginges

Scott Atran

Oxford University Press

This chapter reviews a body of research on sacred values and cultural conflict. Research conducted in the West Bank, Iran, Indonesia, and India reveals that when people transform a resource, idea, or activity into a sacred value, normative approaches to dispute resolution may fail. In a series of experiments, the authors find that offering material incentives to encourage people to compromise over a sacred value will often “backfre” leading to heightened opposition to such compromise. In contrast, culturally sensitive attempts to offer powerful symbolic gestures—such as a painful apology or sacrifice over one’s own sacred values—often increase flexibility towards compromise. The chapter also discusses a direction of future research focusing on the way people manage sacred values over time.

Keywords:   morality, sacred values, backfire effect, cultural conflict, intractable conflict, West Bank, Iran, Indonesia, India

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