IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/jdm/journl/v5y2010i7p540-546.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Sacred values and conflict over Iran's nuclear program

Author

Listed:
  • Morteza Dehghani
  • Scott Atran
  • Rumen Iliev
  • Sonya Sachdeva
  • Douglas Medin
  • Jeremy Ginges

Abstract

Conflict over Iran's nuclear program, which involves a US-led policy to impose sanctions on Iran, is perceived by each side as a preeminent challenge to its own national security and global peace. Yet, there is little scientific study or understanding of how material incentives and disincentives, such as economic sanctions, psychologically affect the targeted population and potentially influence behaviour. Here we explore the Iranian nuclear program within a paradigm concerned with sacred values. We integrate experiments within a survey of 1997 Iranians. We find that a relatively small but politically significant portion of the Iranian population believes that acquiring nuclear energy has become a sacred value, in the sense that proposed economic incentives and disincentives result in a ``backfire effect'' in which offers of material rewards or punishment lead to increased anger and greater disapproval. This pattern was specific to nuclear energy and did not hold for acquiring nuclear weapons. The present study is the first demonstration of the backfire effect for material disincentives as well as incentives, and on an issue whose apparent sacred nature is recent rather than longstanding.

Suggested Citation

  • Morteza Dehghani & Scott Atran & Rumen Iliev & Sonya Sachdeva & Douglas Medin & Jeremy Ginges, 2010. "Sacred values and conflict over Iran's nuclear program," Judgment and Decision Making, Society for Judgment and Decision Making, vol. 5(7), pages 540-546, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:jdm:journl:v:5:y:2010:i:7:p:540-546
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://journal.sjdm.org/10/101203/jdm101203.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    File URL: http://journal.sjdm.org/10/101203/jdm101203.html
    Download Restriction: no

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Morteza Dehghani & Peter J. Carnevale & Jonathan Gratch, 2014. "Interpersonal effects of expressed anger and sorrow in morally charged negotiation," Judgment and Decision Making, Society for Judgment and Decision Making, vol. 9(2), pages 104-113, March.

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:jdm:journl:v:5:y:2010:i:7:p:540-546. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Jonathan Baron). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.