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Deffuant, G., Roozmand, O., Huet, S., Khamzina, K., Nugier, A., Guimond, S. (2022). Can biases in perceived attitudes explain anti-conformism ? in IEEE Transactions on Computational Social Systems, doi : 10.1109/TCSS.2022.3154034.
Dezecache G., Martin J.R., Tessier C., Safra L., Pitron V., Nuss P. & Grèzes J. (2021). Nature and determinants of social actions during a mass shooting. PLOS ONE, 16. doi : 10.1371/journal.pone.0260392
Newson M., Zhao Y., El Zein M., Sulik J., Dezecache G., Deroy O. & Tunçgenç B. (2021). Digital contact does not promote wellbeing, but face-to-face does : A cross-national survey during the Covid-19 pandemic. New Media & Society. doi : 10.1177/14614448211062164
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Accueil > Séminaires

10/06/2021 – Emilie CASPAR

par Ludovic FERRAND - publié le , mis à jour le

Obedience to authority in the aftermath of a genocide. A social neuroscience study in Rwanda

Date : 10 juin 2021
Heure : 10h30 - 11h30
Lieu : Teams


Many destructive behaviors during genocides have been partly justified by a legitimate defence against offenders, a guarantee for not being victimized in the future such as it was the case in past conflicts. A critical societal question is to understand to what extent traumatic family experience during a genocide increases the propensity for next generation individuals to resist immoral orders, given the knowledge about the disastrous consequences of obedience committed by prior generations. In this study, we investigated to what extent the first generation of Rwandese born after the 1994 genocide would comply with immoral orders to inflict pain to another individual. We recruited 72 Rwandese in Rwanda and 72 Rwandese in Belgium. We observed that the more they reported that their family suffered during the 1994 genocide, the less they complied with immoral orders. This effect appeared to be mediated by a higher neural response to the pain of others for participants who reported a greater family suffering. We also observed that Rwandese tested in Belgium disobeyed more frequently to immoral orders than Rwandese tested in Rwanda. Results indicated that the best predictive factor of prosocial disobedience was a low cultural relationship to authority, thus emphasizing the weight of culture and education on people’s behaviors. The present study opens new paths for interdisciplinary field research dedicated to the study of obedience.


Dr. Emilie CASPAR (CO3, Centre de Recherche Cognition et Neurosciences (CRCN), Université Libre de Bruxelles ; Social Brain Lab, Netherlands Institute for Neuroscience (NIN), KNAW)