Pub. date: 2007 | Online Pub. Date: October 03, 2007 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412956253 | Print ISBN: 9781412916707 | Online ISBN: 9781412956253| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Terrorism, Psychology Of
Arie W. Kruglanski & Mark Dechesne
Terrorism is certainly the scourge of our times. Considerable economic, military, political, and scientific resources are devoted these days to the “war on terrorism.” Psychological research is not only relevant but also essential to understanding this issue. Indeed, the psychology of terrorism has become one of psychology's major growth markets. Books and journals on the topic have been published in unprecedented quantities. Terrorists' acts of self-destruction and their indiscriminate killings of innocent civilians cry out for a psychological explanation. But what explanations has psychology provided? How do psychologists analyze the phenomenon of terrorism? And how can psychology help eradicate it? Before answering these questions, it is important to first describe what terrorism is. This is not an easy task. Terrorism researchers have proposed over a hundred different definitions of the phenomenon. Why is it so hard to agree on a definition? A major problem is that this term carries a ...