The role of psychological processes in terrorism:
: A group-level analysis

  • Rohan William James Talbot

Traethawd ymchwil myfyriwr: Traethawd Ymchwil MeistrMeistr yn y Economeg ac Astudiaethau Cymdeithasol


A large body of research has been built up in the attempt to explain the occurrence of terrorism. The majority of this work has focussed at the structural level of analysis (political, social and economic causal factors) or at the individual level (terrorist personality, psychopathology and abnormality). This paper attempts to formulate a group-level explanation of terrorism. The first section summarises the existing literature, in order to establish why a group perspective is important. The following chapter explores the processes underlying how individuals come to accept radical ideologies and join violent political groups. The final section evaluates psychological theories of group dynamics (including obedience and conformity, groupthink, group polarisation and social identity processes) that may help to explain how and why certain groups come to accept terrorism as justifiable course of action. Though a group-processes account is by no means a definitive explanation of terrorism, it can help to integrate other levels of analysis; explaining why groups of seemingly normal individuals may react to certain environmental conditions with terroristic violence. Furthermore, this approach allows terrorism to be viewed as the result of interactive processes, rather than simply the aggregation of static factors. This approach is therefore a promising one, and indicates that further research is needed into the dynamics of terrorist groups
Dyddiad Dyfarnu2008
Iaith wreiddiolSaesneg
Sefydliad Dyfarnu
  • Prifysgol Aberystwyth
GoruchwyliwrMary Brigid Elisabeth Breen Smyth (Goruchwylydd)

Dyfynnu hyn