A natural phenomenon in people and societies, whereby individual and group actions are driven primarily by Sacred Values. The research on the devoted actor was originally conduced by a group of scholars and policymakers at Artis Research to better understand the social and psychological mechanisms underlying people’s willingness to make costly sacrifices for a group and a cause (Atran, Axelrod and Davis, 2007; Atran, 2010; Atran, Sheikh and Gómez, 2014; Atran and Ginges, 2015).
Artis research indicates that when people act as “Devoted Actors” they are deontic (i.e., duty-based) agents who mobilize in a primary reference group — where people do not distinguish “who I am” from “who we are” — to protect cherished values in ways that are dissociated from likely risks and rewards, or calculable costs and consequences.
Devoted actors represent a dimension of thought and behavior distinct from instrumental rationality in resisting material compromises over such values. The cognitive structure of sacred values (as when land or law become hallowed or holy) together with the group dynamics that are involved in the embedding of sacred values into a unique group identity, is the primary focus of this research.
A model that demonstrates how and when Devoted Actors influence government actions and financial markets.
Through years of rigorous field based scientific research on values sets of people in conflict environments, researchers at Artis discovered the idea that a natural phenomenon existed in humanity whereby some people and groups are so devoted to values that they are moved to action primarily by values that may be at odds with the people or societies around them. Artis continues to explore how this phenomenon manifests in the human condition across the globe on six continents.
Since 2008, Artis has provided a service for clients to understand how and when Devoted Actors influence government actions and financial markets.