History Lesson

And Ehud hath come unto him, and he is sitting in the upper chamber of the wall which he hath for himself, and Ehud saith, `A word of God I have unto thee;’ and he riseth from off the throne

and Ehud putteth forth his left hand, and taketh the sword from off his right thigh, and striketh it into his belly; and the haft also goeth in after the blade, and the fat shutteth on the blade, that he hath not drawn the sword out of his belly, and it goeth out at the fundament.

Judges 3:20-22 (Young’s Literal Translation)

The Wary Guerrilla, Part IX: Political Implications

This project asserts that politics – specifically, Absolutism – predicts Wary Guerrilla behavior.

Further experiments are expected to confirm this finding. As this orientation appears to have a significant genetic factor, we believe that wary guerrillas represent a genotypic polymorphism in the human population. Though it is beyond the scope of this study to distinguish between, environmental, genetic, and genetic-via-environmental factors, an application of this theory – the discovery and use of a war guerrilla “greenbeard” (Dawkins, 1976; Wilson, 1983; Sterelny, 1996) – could save many to save lives could well use genetic screening. This section discusses the potential pitfalls of such an application.


For generations, analysis of human behavior was limited to environmental determinism (Corning, 1971; Tooby & Cosmides, 1992; Deech, 1998; Ridley, 2003).Perhaps because of a interwar fascination with genetics (Harwood, 1987) a belief in genetic efficacy was blamed for all sorts of ills while environmental-determinism was wrecking havoc (Muller, 1948; Wrinch, 1951; Cassinelli, 1960). Suicide and ADHD, for example, were blamed on social conditions exclusively (Johnson, 1965 ; Pope 1975; Elkind, 1997), while important explanatory biological factors (Kolata, 1986; 1987; Lubar, 1985; Ding et al., 2002) were not brought up.

During the 1960’s, many initial breakthroughs in genetics research occured (Hamilton, 1964; Caspari & Marshak, 1965). The false nature-nurture dichotomy has now been attacked for generations (Means, 1967). Stalled research programs began again (Healy, 1914; Mednick & Volavka, 1980). Likewise, by now attempts to determine how human evolution influences human behavior (Tiger & Fox, 1966; Shaw & Wong, 1987 ; Fowler, Baker, & Dawes, 2006; Hammond & Axelrod, 2006) and values (Alford & Hibbing, 2004, 2006a) are well established, in spite of occasional heavy criticism (Kamin, 1995; Gould, 2000; Kurzban, 2002).

We now recognize that biology places an important role in our behavior. Rationality and good decisions, for instance, can be encouraged through emotions (Morris, Squires, Taber, & Lodge, 2003; McDermott, 2004; Camerer, Loewenstein, & Prelec, 2005; Lupia & Menng, 2006), while reflection has been shown to be often unreliable (Lieberman, Schreiber, & Ochsner 2003; Shergill, 2003). Biology also influences society. Humans are social animals and automatically react and judge other humans (Olson & Marshuetz, 2005; Todorov, et al., 2005 ) while some chemical balances change interpersonal interaction (Zak, Kurzban, & Matzner 2004; Kosfeld, et al., 2005; Zak, 2006). We also know that we are not clones of each other, but that different bodies may be differentially impacted by chemicals (Caspi et al., 2003; McDermott, 2006). But if emotions are so important for functional human behavior, if reflection can be so dangerous, and if social interaction chemically effects some people more than others, may there be a biological cause of terrorism? Could the wary guerrilla’s behavior express itself in violent suicide explosions as well as in peaceful laboratory conditions?

If so, does our current form of “solidarity insurance,” where all people suffer the same hassles because of a possible threat (O’Neill, 1998), make sense?

If wary guerrillas are more likely to become terrorists, might this polymorphism be larger in some populations than in others? Could we “go back” to an era where genetic markers are used in policy decisions (McClean, 1998; Wells, 1998). After all, different populations tend to exhibit genotypic and phenotypic polymorphism (Kiple, 1986 ; Harpending & Cochran, 2002; Pinker, 2002; Rockmen et al., 2005; Rushton & Jensen, 2005; Rosenberg, et al., 2006; Pimenta, et al., 2006; Wade, 2006).

Science must not stop. Social science has a history of controversy when it tries to inform the law on sensitive matters (Solovey, 2001; Stuntz, 2002). Yet that is because social scientists have a history of academic bravery (Bowman, 2000; Craemer, 2006). Science is the exploration of the unknown, and our reaction to scientific discoveries is a function of whether we view the unknown with fear or hope.
We choose hope.


The Wary Guerrilla, a tdaxp series
1. Abstract
2. Terrorism
3. Predictions
4. An Experiment
5. Results
6. Absolute Guerrilla
7. Those Who Cause Less Pain
8. Future Research
9. Political Implications
10. Bibliography

The Wary Guerrilla, Part VIII: Future Research

Falsification is central to science (Popper 1945, 1952, 1963). Thus, while most of the original null hypotheses were not rejected, the goal of the project was incremental scientific advancement. At least one, perhaps two, styles of Guerrilla behavior: wary guerrillas and other guerrillas were identified. Both guerilla styles were correlated with Egoism in public goods game, and were further correlated to certain political and philosophical factors.

Goodin (1984) writes, in order to “make the theory of games plausible as a representation of behavior… we must introduce some of the sense of structure and continuity that characterizes our actual lives.” Many different types of changes in how information is presented can change behavior (Lupia, 2002; Bower, 2006; De Martino et al., 2006; Mutz, 2006). Indeed, the experimental findings such as the results that people who believe wrong deeds should be punished, are not more likely to punish, forces scholars to consider that not only may the self-report question be invalid, but gameplay as a whole be invalid.

Therefore, finding a way of validating these results is key.


Fortunately, a similar situation is familiar to students. Often a well-meaning professor will assign group work where everyone in a group gets the same grade. These are similar to economic games, in that each student has the ability to cooperate or defect. Instead of an equal contribution leading to different rewards, as in the ultimatum game, unequal contributions lead to identical rewards.

It should be possible to create similar conditions in a laboratory experiment such that the game mimics real-life experiences with group projects. For instance, a participant and a confederate may be tasked with completing some moderately complex task. Grading would be based on completion and effort. Roles would be “randomly” assigned to each of the students, with the participant assigned as Decider (able to make the final decision) and the confederate assigned as the Reporter (supposedly tasked with telling the instructor how much work each member put in). The participant would be informed that the Reporter will be working alone for five minutes, then the Reporter and Decider will work together, then the Decider will work alone. Thus the confederate would put in minimal effort and leave early, while still completing a report indicated that the participant had put in minimal effort, so the split of extra credit would be epsilon for the participant. Because the confederate had left early, the subject would be able to either complete the assignment and receive the unfair allocation or not hand it in, thus rejecting the unfair allocation.

The above experiment would allow us to test whether the Wary Guerrilla type extends to something similar to classroom interactions. It could also be extended to determine whether Wary Guerrilla activity is different in different domains, as different forms of pro-social activity may have evolved separately (Smirnov, Arrow, Kennet, & Orbell, 2006). Thus, keeping the pay-offs the same while altering presentation can shed even more knowledge on the issue.

Other areas of future research include an extension of the Wary Guerilla framework across cultures. While these ideas are still in a nascent development stage, they might seek to answer several questions. Do all societies have wary guerillas in their midst and are they occurring at roughly the same proportion? Will the correlations relating to absolutism and contextualism found here and with other research endeavors be found amongst other cultures? Will there be the same proportion of absolutists and contextualists, or cooperators and punishers, amongst a sample of various religious groups? If feasible, the relevance of this proposed study would be benefited from a sample of fundamentalist and moderate Muslims living in the Middle East, fundamentalist and moderate Jews from Israel, and fundamentalist and moderate Christians from the U.S. This would enable analysis of the impacts of various religions and the results could assist in further determining if absolutism is positively correlated with strength of religious belief across cultures. The findings of this research are motivating to further explore these typologies.


The Wary Guerrilla, a tdaxp series
1. Abstract
2. Terrorism
3. Predictions
4. An Experiment
5. Results
6. Absolute Guerrilla
7. Those Who Cause Less Pain
8. Future Research
9. Political Implications
10. Bibliography

The Wary Guerrilla, Part VII: Those Who Cause Less Pain

Interestingly, a question used by Fulwider & Saferstein (2006) and included in our survey implies that describing Wary Guerrillas as a Wary Cooperator subtype may be inaccurate. In the question, a player is asked to cooperate to a public goods game after several other players have made a large contribution. Surprisingly, Wary Guerrillas tended to be free-riding Egoists in the first round of the public good game.

A generalized guerrilla category was defined to include both wary guerrillas and other guerillas, ie those players who accepted the unfair split and then turned around and punished anyway. Indeed, such a technique slightly improves the beta finding that the Wary Guerrillas are biased towards Egoism. This definition of Guerrillas would give us 14 Republican Guerrillas, 8 Democratic Guerrillas, and 6 Independent Guerrillas.

However, no matter how tempting it would be to cite this as evidence that human beings are irrational “adaptation executers” rather than “utility maximizers” (see Buss, 1995; Tooby & Cosmides, 1990), such a definition loses all predictive power. Consider the other variables identified with the Wary Guerrilla Type: Monism, belief in an Eternal Code, Hard Work, Carefulness, Kindness, and Political Party:

While all of these are correlated to Wary Guerrillaism as originally operationalized, only monism is still correlated with the generalized guerrilla type. Even more interestingly, when the effect of personality on Wary Guerrillas is analyzed, using a short Big 5 personality scale, (Gosling, Rentfrow, & Swann, 2003; Whitacker, 2006 ) the Wary Guerrilla is associated with different personality types than the ‘Other’ Guerrilla. Meanwhile the Other Guerrilla is only significantly associated with Openness with an R2 of .043. The only personality trait outside of Agreeableness and Openness that a generalized “Guerrilla” category was (barely) related to on the personality factors was neuroticism, with a negligible R2 of .022.


The Wary Guerrilla, a tdaxp series
1. Abstract
2. Terrorism
3. Predictions
4. An Experiment
5. Results
6. Absolute Guerrilla
7. Those Who Cause Less Pain
8. Future Research
9. Political Implications
10. Bibliography

The Wary Guerrilla, Part VI: Absolute Guerrilla

The absolutism questionnaire used is an extension of Alford & Hibbing’s (2006b) scale for measuring absolutism in political orientation. Running a basic test of correlations on answers immediately highlighted two items on the political absolutism scale. It should be noted that for technical reasons, data here is only available for self-reported Republicans and Democrats. Ten classic wary cooperators identified as independents and were not asked to answer the political orientation section of the survey.


Wary Guerrillas?

The variable asking participants whether they feel society works best when it speaks with one voice or many voices (HOneVce) was a highly significantly correlated variable. The variable has an R2 of .377. Additionally, the variable HEtCode, asked participants whether they feel society works best when behavioral expectations are based on an eternal code or when behavioral expectations are allowed to evolve over the decades. This variable was significant at the .05 level.


After finding a correlation with Absolutist Orientation, which was calculated through answers to general questions, the analysis then determined whether answers to specific political questions were also correlated. An Authoritarian Politics scale, taking the “conservative” position on a variety of political issues, (Calculated as HPolitC = hdeathp – habortd + hpray + hiraqwa – hgaymar – hforaid + hdepill – htaxric + hwireta – hgunctr) was created. (See Appendix B for variable operationization). The null hypothesis is rejected, concluding that Authoritarian Politics do significantly impact Wary Guerrillaism with an R2 of .171.

Hypothesis 7: The Wary Guerrilla Type is correlated with Absolutist Beliefs.

The same test was conducted for specific questions relating to views on gay marriage (HGayMar) and belief in progressive taxation (HTaxRic). These variables produced R2 values of .188 and .132, respectively.

In order to further the research, political orientation or affiliation was tested to see if it predicted the emergence of Wary Guerrillaism. The null hypothesis, The Wary Guerrilla Type is not correlated with Political Party, was tested in spite of warnings that party affiliation may not translate into gameplay. The results led to rejection of the null hypothesis; indeed more “Republican” players were more likely to be Wary Guerrillas. With the exception of a single self-identified Democrat, every Wary Guerrilla was a self-identified Republican (None of the ten Independent Wary Cooperators were Wary Guerrillas, 1 of the 11 Democratic Wary Cooperators were Wary Guerrillas, and 6 of the 19 Republican Wary Cooperators were Wary Guerillas.)

Hypothesis 8: The Wary Guerrilla Type is correlated with Political Party.

The model inclusive of the prime orientation and issue related variables, (ie ‘one voice: HOneVce’, ‘eternal code:HEtCode’, ‘gay marriage:HGayMar’, progressive taxes:HTaxRic’, and ‘Republican:HRpDmin’), produced an adjusted R2 value of 0.447 (p=0.002). A model including variables measuring three personality traits, (ie Hardworking:HHardWo, Carefulness:HCarefu, and Kindness:HUnkind) generated an adjusted R2 value of 0.425 (p=0.000). A model merging the key political orientation, issue stance, and personality variables yielded an adjusted R2 value of 0.745 (p=0.000).


The Wary Guerrilla, a tdaxp series
1. Abstract
2. Terrorism
3. Predictions
4. An Experiment
5. Results
6. Absolute Guerrilla
7. Those Who Cause Less Pain
8. Future Research
9. Political Implications
10. Bibliography

The Wary Guerrilla, Part V: Results

The experiment detected 33 classic wary cooperators, of whom 33 were identified as wary cooperators and 7 of whom were wary guerrillas. Additionally, there were 117 classic egoists or altruists who accepted the unfair allocation. Of these 117, there were 97 other cooperators and 20 other guerrillas.


Wary Guerrillas: Fighting the Stereotype

Hypothesis 1: The Wary Guerrilla type correlates with small town origin. (Spopula) Failed
Hypothesis 2: The Wary Guerrilla type correlates with family income. (SFIncome) Failed
Hypothesis 3: The Wary Guerrilla type correlates with sex. (SGender) Failed
Hypothesis 4: The Wary Guerrilla type correlates with religious feeling. (SReligi) Failed
Hypothesis 5: The Wary Guerrilla type correlates with absolutism. (HOrienC) Success
Hypothesis 6: The wary Guerrilla type correlates with Greek status. (DisGrek) Failed


Demystifying the Wary Guerrilla

The initial attempts to predict the emergence of Wary Guerrillas were, essentially, failures. The analysis did not find a relationship with either of Sautter’s measurements, Family Income and Age, nor did it reveal the expected relationship with sex. Further, there was no correlation with relationship status, Greek status, or religious status. However, the correlation with Absolutism was particularly intriguing and warranted further investigation. The tools conventionally used to analyze political choices could also be organized around interpersonal questions. As Absolutist Orientation was the only one of the initial hypotheses that was accepted, a series of derivative hypotheses were formulated in order to test ideas that should be related.


The Wary Guerrilla, a tdaxp series
1. Abstract
2. Terrorism
3. Predictions
4. An Experiment
5. Results
6. Absolute Guerrilla
7. Those Who Cause Less Pain
8. Future Research
9. Political Implications
10. Bibliography

The Wary Guerrillla, Part IV: An Experiment

Participants were recruited from a large midwestern university. The undergraduates were mostly traditional college age (93% were between 19 and 23). There were 90 males and 87 females. The experiment was designed and implemented using Medialab software. The participants answered questions and played the economic games on a computer. Steps were taken to create the false impression that participants were playing against other humans. At the beginning of the experiment, we asked participants if we could take their picture to use as an avatar for game play. This deception was designed to increase the perception that participants were playing against other human beings.

The game was organized as follows. Participants began the survey and were informed they would earn extra credit points for their actions. A series of distractor questions was asked and a distractor public goods game was played. Near the end of the experiment, the students were informed another student was given five additional extra credit points to divide and chose to keep four and give away one. Participants were informed that they could accept or reject this, where accepting meant the split stood as it was and rejecting meant that neither the participant nor the confederate would earn these additional points. Students who accepted the unfair split are considered either egoists or altruists. Students who rejected were considered wary cooperators.

After the rejection, an opportunity for punishment was given to the students. They were informed that they could use the points they had already gained by participating in the experiment in order to deduct the same amount of points from the other player. Participants who also accepted this second opportunity for punishment – those who would incur acute personal costs in order to punish injustice – are classified as Wary Guerrillas. Additionally, students who accepted the unfair split were also given the opportunity to punish. Participants that accepted and then punished are termed “Other Guerrillas” and are not covered by our theory.

The experiment is visually laid out below:

This paper focuses primarily on the Wary Guerrilla type as a sub-type of the Classic Wary Cooperator. The Egoist and Altruist types have been extensively explored elsewhere in the literature (Becker, 1976; Monroe, 1994). A few words exploring the “Other Guerrillas” are offered at the end of the results section.


The Wary Guerrilla, a tdaxp series
1. Abstract
2. Terrorism
3. Predictions
4. An Experiment
5. Results
6. Absolute Guerrilla
7. Those Who Cause Less Pain
8. Future Research
9. Political Implications
10. Bibliography

The Wary Guerrilla, Part III: Predictions

This project searches for a wary guerrilla using an ultimatum game as a tool. An ultimatum game is an economic dilemma “where one of the players can firmly commit himself in advance under a heavy penalty that he will insist under all conditions upon a certain specified demand (which is called his ultimatum)” (Harsanyi, 1961, 190).

In other words (Nowak, Page, and Sigmund, 2000, 1773):

In the Ultimatum Game, two players are offered a chance to win a certain sum of money. All they must do is divide it. The proposer suggests how to split the sum. The responder can accept or reject the deal. If the deal is rejected, neither player gets anything. The rational solution, suggested by game theory, is for the proposer to offer the smallest possible share and for the responder to accept it. If humans play the game, however, the most frequent outcome is a fair share. In this paper, we develop an evolutionary approach to the Ultimatum Game.

This finding has been repeatedly confirmed as existing even among atypical American populations (Bethwaite & Tompkinson, 1996) and in communities around the globe (Bowles & Gintis, 2000; Gowdy, Iorgulescu, & Onyweiwu, 2003).


In some economic games, income, education, small town origin, and sex (female) increases empathy (Sautter, 2006). Men may be more favorably disposed to cooperators than females (Price, 2006) but also are less empathetic toward punished cheaters (Singer et al., 2006). Players in general are generous to helpless fellows (Oppewal & Tougareva, 1992). Likewise, there are robust distinct player types of altruists, free-riders, and generally cooperative people (Kurzban & Houser, 2005). Players reject small offers rarely but more than would be predicted by game theory (Eckel, Johnson & Wilson, 2002). Along with this, players often give more than should be expected (Thaler, 1989; Fong & Bolton, 1997). The operating assumption is that these behaviors will be exhibited by wary guerrillas, as both wary guerrillaism and these traits appear to be expressions of a pro-social orientation. Thus we propose the the following hypotheses:

1.The Wary Guerrilla is correlated with small town origin

2.The Wary Guerrilla is correlated with income

3.The Wary Guerrilla is correlated with sex

This research further advances the notion that political orientation matters. If anxiety leads one to pay more attention to politics (Wolak & Marcus, 2006), if some people are chemically pre-disposed to care about politics more than others (Carmen, 2006), and if greater partisanship leads one to vote more often (Fowler, 2006), than perhaps political orientation impacts gameplay. A positive finding here would help bridge the gap between politics and psychology. Unlike the remaining hypotheses, absolutism is not taken from a single measure, but rather from a scale calculated as follows: HOrienC = hdanger + hobey – hreward – hcompro + htradit + hwelfar + honevce + hhumnat + hetcode + hpunish. (See Appendix B for variable definitions).

4.The Wary Guerrilla is correlated with absolutism

This research also asserts than an interaction effect with organizations exists. Pre-existing group norms (Henrich, et al., 2005; Kay, Wheeler, Bagh, & Ross, 2004) and group experiences (Henrich, et al., 2001; Gil-White, 2004; Larrick & Blount, 1997) matter, and group membership can provide this. Not all groups will honestly advertise their ideology to their membership (Johnson, 2006). For some learning domains, positive reinforcement is vital (Bruning & Horn, 2000), and organization membership can provide this positive reinforcement. Additionally, insecurity has an interaction with preferences (Huddy, Feldman, & Weber, 2006), and it seems likely that insecurity would also cause people to join family-like organizations. Greek societies, fraternities and sororities, would thus be likely locations of wary guerrillas if wary guerrillaism is a learned behavior.

5.The Wary Guerrilla is correlated with Fraternity or Sorority Membership status

While specific religions are sometimes associated with violence in the minds of people (Abrahamian, 2002; Gerges, 1997), perhaps the real determinant is general religiosity. Ancient religious terror groups were very highly organized (Rapoport, 1984) and their analogues still exist (Rapoport, 1988). Religion has played a major role in both successful and failed liberation struggles against powerful states (Bosch, 1974; Rapoport, 1979; Husband 1988) and has been offered as a possible cause of suicide terrorism (El Sarraj & Butler, 2002). Additionally, among religious traditions where an alternative to faith is eternal damnation, religiosity may be correlated with riskier behavior (Miller, 2000). Logically, religion may indicate non-secular preferences (Euben, 2002) or secular preferences working on religious themes. Religiosity may enable even rational actors to behave in apparently irrational ways (Iannaccone, 1990, 1995, 1997, 1998). The Wary Guerrilla is an obvious candidate for a type that would engage in this behavior.

6.The Wary Guerrilla is correlated with religious feeling


The Wary Guerrilla, a tdaxp series
1. Abstract
2. Terrorism
3. Predictions
4. An Experiment
5. Results
6. Absolute Guerrilla
7. Those Who Cause Less Pain
8. Future Research
9. Political Implications
10. Bibliography

The Wary Guerrilla, Part II: Terrorism

In 1969, Arthur D. Lewis wrote (407):

If we have thought about it at all, I think many of us have simply assumed that man, being rational, would respond logically to a changing environment. He would adapt himself to his environment simply because that was the sensible thing to do. But this is not the case. Social man reacts irrationally to radical change.

Lewis was half right: man reacts irrationally to any change.


At least, that’s the case if by irrational we mean non-self interested. And this is by and large a good thing. People in general act as if they are more concerned about distributive justice than personal gain (Guth & Tietz, 1990; Fehr & Gachter, 2000). Even a partial list of the pro-social behaviors that have been observed is monumental (Rankin, Bruning, & Timme, 1994; Hibbing & Theiss-Morse, 2001; Sanfey et al., 2003; Smith et al, 2004; Hibbing & Alford, 2004; Jervis, 2004; Larimer, Hannagan, and Smith, 2006).

Yet not all cooperative behavior is desirable. The human trait of war (Muller, 1958) –coalitionary killing — is shared by our closest relatives, the chimpanzees (Wrangham, 1999), as well as with much smaller creatures (Lenski & Riley, 2002; Wilson & Holldobler, 2005). Among such species, cooperation among an in-group can lead to hostility towards outgroups (Sapolsky, 2006). Other forms of often undesirable cooperation exist as well (Wiley, 1988; Nowell & Laufer, 1997).

Suicide-bombing is a form of undesirable, altruistic cooperation. Terrorism and punishment are both purposeful violence (Butler, 2002) designed to change behavior. Altruistic punishment is a form of decentralized punishment (Orbell et al., 2004) which leads to cooperation over repeated encounters (Bender & Mookherjee, 1987). Such deterrence can be successful even when multiple, potentially hostile groups compose a population (Afri, 2000). Some scientific work hints at analogues in controlled settings. Punishment has been observed in the lab even when it will not improve the material or social condition of the punisher (Boyd, Gintis, Bowles, & Richardson, 2003). However, more must be done.

Previous attempts to build a profile of suicide terrorism have failed (Sprinzak, 2000). The variety of environments in which suicide bombing is expressed (Ganguly, 1988; Keerawella & Samarajiva, 1995; Talmon, 2005; Wald, 1984; Weiss, 2001) seems to be matched only by the variety of potential explanations (Allen, 2002; Adoni, 1997; Ball, 2002; Borneman, 2001; Lorber, 2002). Yet regardless of how the issue is framed (see Jenkins 1986; Kerry 1997; Bush, 2002) the need to know how to deter such adversaries is clear (Jervis, 2002; Yoo, 2003).

Currently, there are only a few agreed upon characteristics of terrorists. Most terrorists are male (Thompson, 2006), and they are generally well educated, generally well off, and feel humiliated (Atran, 2003). This paper proposes a “Wary Guerrilla” type that can be identified in the laboratory. This type acts more similarly to a suicide bomber, punishers more harshly, than any gameplay type previously identified. If the wary guerrilla is shown to exist, our knowledge of how to fight terrorism is advanced.


The Wary Guerrilla, a tdaxp series
1. Abstract
2. Terrorism
3. Predictions
4. An Experiment
5. Results
6. Absolute Guerrilla
7. Those Who Cause Less Pain
8. Future Research
9. Political Implications
10. Bibliography