Bernhard Fink and Robert Trivers (2014)

Cognitive simplicity and self-deception are crucial in martyrdom and suicide terrorism

Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 37(4):366-367.

Suicide attacks and terrorism are characterized by cognitive simplicity, which is related to self-deception. In justifying violence in pursuit of ideologically and/or politically driven commitment, people with high religious commitment may be particularly prone to mechanisms of self-deception. Related megalomania and glorious self-perception are typical of self-deception, and are thus crucial in the emergence and expression of (suicide) terrorism.

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