Skip to main content

Sergey Gavrilets, distinguished professor of ecology, evolutionary biology and mathematics at UT recently published a study explaining what may motivate individuals to take part in extremist behaviors, such as the recent Manchester bombing at Ariana Grande’s London concert.

The Huffington Post featured the study, which goes on to say that in today’s society suicide bombings and other self-sacrificial acts could be viewed as an example of “oversocialized” individuals. The outlet also interviewed Gavrilets, the lead author of the study.

“You can think of people willing to go to the extreme to defend or promulgate what they believe is right,” said Gavrilets.

The article also cited a different study by Gavrilets, published in the journal Nature in March, which found that negative or harmful shared group experiences can bond people together and could groom them for extreme self-sacrifice. An example of this could be soldiers preparing for war.

Medical Daily also highlighted the study.

Related: NIMBioS Researchers Study the Power of Social Norms