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Willingness to fight and die

What would motivate someone to willingly enter frontline combat against the Islamic State? New research finds three compelling reasons: commitment to some sacred values, forsaking commitment to their own kin for those same values, and belief in the spiritual strength of one’s own group compared to that of the enemy.

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  1. 1.

    Gómez, Á. et al. Nat. Hum. Behav. 1, 0193 (2017).

  2. 2

    Atran, S. Curr. Anthropol. 57, S192–S203 (2016).

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Author information


  1. The Global Studies Institute and the Department of Psychology, Georgia State University, Atlanta, GA, 30302, USA

    • John G. Horgan


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Corresponding author

Correspondence to John G. Horgan.