Journal article

What Makes a Group Worth Dying for? Identity Fusion Fosters Perception of Familial Ties, Promoting Self-Sacrifice

William B Swann, Michael D Buhrmester, Angel Gomez, Jolanda Jetten, Brock Bastian, Alexandra Vazquez, Amarina Ariyanto, Tomasz Besta, Oliver Christ, Lijuan Cui, Gillian Finchilescu, Roberto Gonzalez, Nobuhiko Goto, Matthew Hornsey, Sushama Sharma, Harry Susianto, Airong Zhang

JOURNAL OF PERSONALITY AND SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY | AMER PSYCHOLOGICAL ASSOC | Published : 2014

Abstract

We sought to identify the mechanisms that cause strongly fused individuals (those who have a powerful, visceral feeling of oneness with the group) to make extreme sacrifices for their group. A large multinational study revealed a widespread tendency for fused individuals to endorse making extreme sacrifices for their country. Nevertheless, when asked which of several groups they were most inclined to die for, most participants favored relatively small groups, such as family, over a large and extended group, such as country (Study 1). To integrate these findings, we proposed that a common mechanism accounts for the willingness of fused people to die for smaller and larger groups. Specifically..

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