Off Campus portion of SP0022126

Project: Research project

Project Details


Northwestern University Statement of Work for New School subcontract: Office of Naval Research (MINERVA) Proposal: The Mutual Influence of Sacred Values and Social Responsibilities in Governance and Conflict Management: A Dynamic Interplay between Leaders, Devoted Actor Networks, General Populations, and Time Co-PI Doug Medin has been involved in research studying sacred values and environmental decision making among different cultural groups including people practicing agro-forestry in the lowland rainforest of Peten, Guatemala (Atran and Medin, 2008) and hunters and fishermen in rural Wisconsin (Bennis, Iliev, Sachdeva & Medin, in preparation) for at least the past decade. Sonya Sachdeva (Post-Doc) has extensive experience working with urban and rural study populations in India investigating cultural factors in moral cognition (Sachdeva & Medin, in preparation). She has also worked with Hindu and Muslim participants looking at the effects of group identity salience in sacred value based conflict (Sachdeva & Medin, 2009). Over the years she has built several fruitful collaborations with faculty members at prestigious Indian universities which allow for valuable input from the community. She is fluent in Hindi and several local languages. Purnima Singh (Advisor, IIT-Delhi) has worked on a number of international and national collaborative research projects related to justice, intergroup relations, identity and collective experience and cross- cultural issues. She is Professor of Psychology at the Indian Institute of Technology – Delhi, one of India’s premier higher learning institutions. Medin and Sachdeva, in collaboration with Singh will be actively involved in the design, implementation, analysis and distribution of these studies with a particular focus on Indian populations. Their specific aims in this project are to examine different types of sacred values and different forms of identity salience and their effects on inter-group conflict. Surveys will be conducted with Indian participants and all appropriate IRB approvals will be obtained. They will primarily focus on Hindu-Muslim conflict. Their previous studies have shown that there are some sacred values and issues which foster inter-group differences. However, other sacred values might foster shared psychological spaces and thereby decrease the prioritization of parochial issues. Sachdeva and Medin have also been closely involved with a research team that includes PI’s Atran and Ginges (e.g. Ginges et al, 2011) examining sacred values and culture for a number of years and we will continue to all work together as a team.
Effective start/end date12/15/133/14/19


  • New School (Agmnt 6/30/14 //FA9550-14-1-0030)
  • Air Force Office of Scientific Research (Agmnt 6/30/14 //FA9550-14-1-0030)


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