Induced Altruism in Religious, Military, & Terrorist Orgs.

Hector Qirko’s
Induced Altruism in Religious, Military, & Terrorist Organizations;
Cross cultural research; 47 (2): 131-161; 2013
PowerPoint by Brad R. Huber
1. Humans often behave altruistically in non-kin,
unreciprocated contexts
2. Explanations that focus on individual dispositions
and cultural norms are relevant
3. As are explanations that examine altruism from a
Darwinian perspective.
What Is Altruism From A Darwinian Perspective?
1. altruism is a behavior that benefits the reproductive success of the
recipient at a cost to that of the provider.
2. one condition under which altruistic tendencies evolve is reciprocity
3. altruistic dispositions can also evolve via inclusive fitness and kin
selection theory
4. an often overlooked neo-Darwinian model is induced altruism via
kin cue manipulation
1. This article explores costly altruism exhibited in non-kin
organizational contexts
2. Examples include organizations that call for:
a. vows of celibacy,
b. suicide bombing, and
c. combat suicide
The Induced Altruism Model
1. Induced Altruism
a. increases the reproductive success of its recipient at a cost to the
b. altruistic behavior can be elicited through
ii. manipulation, or
iii. deception
2. human history has many examples of costly behavior induced
by force, such as enslavement and imprisonment
3. most relevant to this paper is induced altruism as a result of
manipulation of relatedness cues, or kinship deceit
4. deceit and manipulation are central to human social
Human Kin Recognition Cues
1. Association is correlated with genetic relatedness (e.g.,
kibbutzim, altruism, and sexual aversion)
2. Phenotypic similarity is another cue tied to kin recognition
and altruism
3. Kin terms denote genetic relationships
1. Attempts to induce altruism by means of kinship deceit should
a. association,
b. phenotypic similarity,
c. and kin terms
2. Institutions demanding costly sacrifice should encourage:
a. close associations that replicate natural kin contexts,
b.the use of false phenotypic matches such as uniforms, hairstyle,
c. the use of linguistic kin referents,
d.prefer young recruits (malleable),
e. discourage association with actual kin (substitute attachments are
more easily formed when familial ties are severed)
Institutional Celibacy: Monasticism In Christianity, Buddhism & Hinduism
1. Reveals a recurring pattern of the five predicted practices:
2. Recruits are typically
a. Young,
b. Renounce family ties,
c. Separated from family and community,
d. Wear uniform clothing, hairstyles, and
e. Non-kin are denoted with sibling and parental terms
An Extended Example Of Institutional Celibacy: Aztec Priests
1. Took a vow of chastity,
2. Wore uniform and distinctive clothing and feather work,
3. Did not cut or wash their hair,
4. As young children they were sent to special schools attached to
5. The emperor was called father and mother to all
Pattern of wealthy, powerful non-kin organizations whose leaders acquire
and control resources from recruits via means of institutionalized celibacy
Aztec Priests,
Codex Mendoza
Organizations Employing Suicide Bombing
1. For example, Liberation Tigers, Hezbollah, Islamic Jihad, Chechen separatists, Al
Qaeda, Muslim brotherhood, Lebanese Shiites
2. These organizations also exhibit the predicted pattern of training
a. recruits include young and unmarried recruits,
b. separated from family and community,
c. training camps with recruits wearing uniforms,
d. Use of kin terms, such as brother and sister, and elder brother for the leader
Police in Afghanistan stopped a young militant
By JACK LOSH Published: 29th October 2012
Combat Suicide
1. Definition: an act that occurs during military combat, involving sacrifice of
life for comrades, and certain and immediate death
2. Basic training in all armies creates group bonding via a close, intense
3. Many armies include mandatory phenotypic similarity involving
hairstyles, uniforms, emblems, and equipment,
4. the use of kinship symbolism to bond members (“Band of Brothers”)
What kinds of societies tend to use Induced Altruism?
1. 19 of 22 societies in which non-kin, institutionalized celibacy occurred
were small or large states
2. suicide terrorism occurs in the context of states to which terrorist
organizations are opposed,
3. combat suicide occurs in the context of armies, which are characteristic
of large societies
1.Social interactions is larger societies often involve non-kin
2.Adaptations related to inclusive fitness are increasingly irrelevant
in organizing people.
Discussion: Institutional Celibacy
1. Communal groups control individual and kin-based interests by either
accommodating or minimizing the influence of families through the
control of sexuality
2. The Oneida community required communal sexuality
3. The Shakers required celibacy
4. Both approaches lead to the replacement of kin ties with non-kin bonds
5. Resources are directed to the group's leaders or the group as a whole
Discussion: Combat and Terrorist Suicide
1. Motives for fighting in small-scale groups are typically individual or kin
related, including hunting resources, trespassing, women, revenge,
accusations of sorcery, mutual suspicion, sheer pugnacity
2. These motives are related to increasing somatic and reproductive success
3. Authoritative political systems are characterized by people engaging in
greater and more deadly fighting
4. Under these conditions,
a. Professional armies and soldiers emerge, and
b. Motives for combat do not involve individual and kin level
5. Socialization and training become more important
6. Training takes place in the context of small groups, and
7. The predicted pattern of practices that reinforce bonding in non-kin
contexts becomes typical
What factors besides evolutionary ones influence costly sacrifice?
1. Costly sacrifice is influenced by a combination of personality,
experiential, ideological, and other factors, and cannot be
explained solely in evolutionary terms
2. In addition to positive kin cue manipulation, terrorist organizations
may offer material and status rewards to human bomber’s kin
Final Remarks
1. Organizations are collections of individuals with competing
2. Leaders of religious, military, and terrorist organizations are not
typically engaged in costly sacrifice themselves, and
3. Leaders often indirectly benefit in terms of reproductive success
from the actions of their recruits

similar documents