AUSTIN, Texas, Aug. 12 (UPI) — “Fused” people, those with extremely strong ties to their countries or group, say they would sacrifice themselves for compatriots, a U.S. researcher says.
Bill Swann of The University of Texas at Austin and colleagues in Spain and Australia say fused people are immersed in ethnic, national or other groups and are willing to commit extreme acts on behalf of group members.
The study, published in Psychological Science, finds 75 percent of fused respondents — vs. 25 percent of non-fused respondents — are willing to die to save five fellow group members from death.
“Fused group members believe that through suicide, their lives will achieve tremendous significance,” Swann says in a statement. “Their strong sense of moral agency drives them to see not only that justice is done, but to also take an active role in its implementation.”
The study involved Spanish college students who completed a questionnaire, which identified 38 percent of as “fused” with Spain.
When presented with hypothetical dilemmas, 88 percent of those fused with Spain say they would die to save five members of an extended in-group — Europeans — but not members of an out-group — Americans.
Given the opportunity to push aside a fellow group member who is about to sacrifice himself to kill escaped terrorists, 63 percent say they would push the group member aside so they, themselves, could leap to their death to divert a train that would then kill the terrorists.
Copyright 2010 United Press International, Inc. (UPI). Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI’s prior written consent.