Psychological Aspects of Terrorism Exam Prep

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Premeditated violence for political gain, exacted by sub-state actors against civilian targets, aimed at influencing a wider audience through creating fear. 
a set of beliefs and values describing goals, expectations and actions 
a bond that sometimes develops during the hostage phase of hostage-taking (also called Stockholm Syndrome) 
exposure to trauma and experience of at least one recurrent symptom 
an operation whose goal is to attempt to persuade audiences to act, support, oppose, or remain indifferent to particular course of action in support of victory 
Psychoanalytic Theories
Terrorists are young, lack self-esteem, and seek to consolidate their identity 
Lack of motherly love damages self-image, creates a narcissistic rage 
Narcissistic injuries create damaged self-concept-- splitting of personality 
Non-Psychoanalytic Theories
Political violence may satisfy innate needs for stimulation and risk 
Reduced or damaged cognitive capacity may be responsible for violent behavior 
Blockage of attainment of goal (frustration) creates aggression 
Staircase to Terrorism (from Ground Floor up)
GROUND FLOOR 
FIRST FLOOR 
SECOND FLOOR 
THIRD FLOOR 
FOURTH FLOOR 
FIFTH FLOOR 
Stages of Delegitimation
Erosion of group confidence in government 
Challenging the legitimacy of the system, forming ideologies 
Creation of new moral/behavioral standards, strategic terrorism 
Moral Disengagement model
Deconstructive conduct made acceptable by portraying it as serving a moral purpose 
Conferring respectable status on reprehensible activities 
Own behavior is contrasted with other, seemingly worse, behavior 
Viewing actions as resulting from dictates of other people 
Selective inattention 
Divests people of human qualities 
Conduct viewed as compelled by provocation 
Stages of Radicalization
Decision to engage in violence 
Transition to violence takes place 
Convergence of movement's view with that of the recruit 
Recruits fully identify as members 
Individual-Level Motivators and Enablers of Suicide Terrorists
death/injury of a loved one, perceived aggression, hatred 
appeals to honor and manhood 
loyalty to a cell/organization, family, friends.  
service to God and family benefits 
reduces the reservations to kill and die, and helps to justify the act 
Hostage-Taking, Stress and Decision-Making
frantic searching for clues to the solution 
shifting responsibility under stress; tends to result in staffers telling their boss what he wants to hear 

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