THE PSYCHOLOGY OF THE TERRORIST

THE PSYCHOLOGY OF THE TERRORIST - THE PSYCHOLOGY OF THE...

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THE PSYCHOLOGY OF THE TERRORIST Terrorist Motivation In addition to drawing on political science and sociology, this study draws on the discipline of psychology, in an attempt to explain terrorist motivation and to answer questions such as who become terrorists and what kind of individuals join terrorist groups and commit public acts of shocking violence. Although there have been numerous attempts to explain terrorism from a psychiatric or psychological perspective, Wilkinson notes that the psychology and beliefs of terrorists have been inadequately explored. Most psychological analyses of terrorists and terrorism, according to psychologist Maxwell Taylor (1988), have attempted to address what motivates terrorists or to describe personal characteristics of terrorists, on the assumption that terrorists can be identified by these attributes. However, although an understanding of the terrorist mindset would be the key to understanding how and why an individual becomes a terrorist, numerous psychologists have been unable to adequately define it. Indeed, there appears to be a general agreement among psychologists who have studied the subject that there is no one terrorist mindset. This view, however, itself needs to be clarified. The topic of the terrorist mindset was discussed at a Rand conference on terrorism coordinated by Brian M. Jenkins in September 1980. The observations made about terrorist mindsets at that conference considered individuals, groups, and individuals as part of a group. The discussion revealed how little was known
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This note was uploaded on 12/04/2011 for the course ANTHRO 2000 taught by Professor Monicaoyola during the Fall '10 term at Broward College.

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THE PSYCHOLOGY OF THE TERRORIST - THE PSYCHOLOGY OF THE...

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