Artis provides top-level analysis based on field-based scientific research. Our team has engaged in research on 6 continents and done work in 46 countries. The most rigorous methods and tested techniques are applied.
Artis researchers have discovered a natural phenomenon, occurring in both individuals and societies, whereby actions are driven primarily by sacred values and are not predictable by standard utilitarian analysis.
Social groups provide context and meaning in the life of an individual; studying social movements illuminates the significance of an individual’s actions, allowing greater clarity in understanding why people act the way they do.
Like social movement research, the area of Network Analysis has many implications for understanding the context and meaning of an individual’s acts in light of conflict and political violence.
Research on Decision Making
While study of judgment and decision-making has greatly advanced, progress has been uneven. Much more is known about decision-making facets of economic behavior than about morally motivated behavior, including political behavior. Current risk management approaches to resolving resource conflicts or countering terrorism often assume that adversaries model the world on the basis of rational choices that are commensurable across cultures. In particular, models of individual and group based choices have tended to assume that theories of bounded rationality can explain choices to commit oneself or one’s group to acts of political violence and terrorism. Such assumptions are prevalent in risk modeling and assessment by foreign aid and international development projects run by institutions such as the World Bank and many NGOs, and by U.S. diplomatic, military and intelligence services as well.
Such findings are often taken to support the idea that terrorist action – including self-destruction – derives from rational decisions to optimize strategies for attaining sociopolitical goals; the religious “bargain” of mostly young men dying for a promising afterlife; or ultimate sacrifice as maximizing the goal of improving lives of family or compatriots, which offsets the “opportunity cost” of an educated life lost prematurely; “trading life” for a social identity that is affirmed in death but devalued by continued living. Another possibility, however, is that rather than obey a utilitarian “logic of rational consequence” these actors more closely follow a “logic of moral appropriateness.”