Encyclopedia of Evolutionary Psychological Science

Living Edition
| Editors: Todd K. Shackelford, Viviana A. Weekes-Shackelford

Scott Atran

  • Zachary WillockxEmail author
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-16999-6_515-1



Scott Atran is an anthropologist and psychologists whose area of study focuses on values, conflict negotiation, and the evolutionary psychology of religion.


Much of Scott Atran’s work has focused on values, conflict negotiation, and the evolutionary psychology of religion. Most of his work combines two or more of these areas to produce theories with real-world applications. For example, he studied how individuals hold and react to value violations (Atran and Axelrod 2008), applied this theory by asking Zionists and Palestinians living in the West Bank how they would react to different peace offerings were they to be proposed (Ginges et al. 2007), and summarized his data to be used by international organizations (Pinker 2011). Other notable contributions include his work on transnational terrorism, where he argues that terrorist ideology stems from nepotism, not psychopathy, with findings drawn from field work internationally (Pinker 2011...


Security Council Terrorist Group Moral Outrage Suicide Bomber Recurrent Problem 
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  1. Atran, S. (2007). Terrorism and radicalization: What to do, what not to do. Presentation to U. S. Department of State and U.K. House of Lords, October-November. Retrieved from http://www.edge.org/3rd_culture/Atran07/index.html
  2. Atran, S., & Axelrod, R. (2008). Reframing sacred values. Negotiation Journal, 24(3), 221–246.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Atran, S., Axelrod, R., & Davis, R. (2007). Sacred barriers to conflict resolution. Science, 317(5841), 1039.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. Downey, G. (2015). Scott atran on youth, violent extremism and promoting peace. Retrieved from http://blogs.plos.org/neuroanthropology/2015/04/25/scott-atran-on-youth-violent-extremism-and-promoting-peace/
  5. Ginges, J., Atran, S., Medin, D., & Shikaki, K. (2007). Sacred bounds on rational resolution of violent political conflict. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 104(18), 7357–7360.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Lustick, I. (2006). Negotiating truth: The holocaust, lehavdil, and al-Nakba. Journal of International Affairs, 60, 51–80.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Pinker, S. (2011). The better angels of our nature: Why violence has declined. London: Penguin.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Oakland UniversityRochesterUSA