The power of norms to sway fused group members

Winnifred R. Louis, Craig McGarty, Emma F. Thomas, Catherine E. Amiot, Fathali M. Moghaddam

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debate

4 Citations (Scopus)


Whitehouse adapts insights from evolutionary anthropology to interpret extreme self-sacrifice through the concept of identity fusion. The model neglects the role of normative systems in shaping behaviors, especially in relation to violent extremism. In peaceful groups, increasing fusion will actually decrease extremism. Groups collectively appraise threats and opportunities, actively debate action options, and rarely choose violence toward self or others.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e209
JournalBehavioral and Brain Sciences
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2018


  • Whitehouse
  • evolutionary anthropology
  • normative systems


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