The Psychology of Terrorism Fears

ISBN : 9780195388114

Samuel Justin Sinclair; Daniel Antonius
192 Pages
158 x 234 mm
Pub date
Jul 2012
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The psychology of terrorism, in its most basic form, is about fear. Although academics continue to debate the meaning of terrorism, the end result for victims of terrorism is very often fear and terror. Many studying the effects of terrorism have focused more exclusively on discrete psychopathological constructs, most of which are clinically based. Ironically, these paradigms fail to acknowledge the primacy of basic fear in the context of terrorism, as well as how fear affects people in both positive and negative ways-above and beyond whether one meets criteria for a clinical disorder. This book unpacks the complexity of terrorism fears and presents a new paradigm for understanding the psychology of terrorism. As such, this book presents empirical and theoretical frameworks for understanding fear as a dynamic process that motivates and affects people on a myriad of levels, from the individual to society at large. The book also highlights the paradox of how fear can negatively impact people and societies, but also be a central force underlying resilience and post-traumatic growth. Finally, The Psychology of Terrorism Fears discusses how society has changed as a result of terrorism, and specifically, how our own systems for managing terrorism may in fact contribute to fear.


Chapter 1 A Psychology of Fear
Chapter 2 The Psychological Aftermath of Terrorism: A Current State of the Science
Chapter 3 Theoretical Paradigms for Understanding the Psychology of Fear
Chapter 4 Terrorism and Fear: New Models for Understanding the Impact of Political Violence
Chapter 5 Communicating Warning: The Art and Science of Threat Dissemination
Chapter 6 Coping with Terrorism: The Psychology of Resilience
Chapter 7 Implications and Conclusion

About the author: 

Samuel Justin Sinclair is Assistant Professor at Harvard Medical School, and Director of Research at the Psychological Evaluation and Research Laboratory (PEaRL) at the Massachusetts General Hospital. He is the founder and past president of the Society for Terrorism Research, and a co-founder and co-editor-in-chief of the peer-refereed journal, Behavioral Sciences of Terrorism and Political Aggression. He is also a co-editor of Interdisciplinary Analyses of Terrorism and Political Aggression, and a co-editor of the forthcoming volume, Contemporary Debates on Terrorism. Dr. Sinclair is the developer of the Terrorism Catastrophizing Scale (TCS), a psychological assessment tool that measures anticipatory fears of terrorism. ; Daniel Antonius is Assistant Professor at the University at Buffalo, State University of New York, and Adjunct Professor at New York University School of Medicine. Additionally, he is a faculty member at the Institute for Social and Psychiatric Initiatives (InSPIRES) and works as a forensic psychologist at Erie County Forensic Mental Health Services in Buffalo. He is a past member of the Governing Board of the Society for Terrorism Research, a co-founder and co-editor-in-chief of Behavioral Sciences of Terrorism and Political Aggression with Samuel Justin Sinclair, and a co-editor of Interdisciplinary Analyses of Terrorism and Political Aggression. He has published numerous articles on the neurobiological, behavioral, and societal factors that underlie violence and aggression in individuals and groups.

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