Psychological Approaches to Organized Agression
Final rept. May-Aug 1985
LONDON UNIV (UNITED KINGDOM) INST OF PSYCHIATRY
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In this research note, the psychological aspects of terrorism are examined, the aspects examined are divided into six categories 1 psychological analyses of terrorists, 2 the nature, timing, and effects of terrorist acts, 3 the behavior of terrorists, victims, and negotiators during acts of terrorism, 4 the prediction and prevention of terrorist acts, 5 the effects of terrorist acts on their victims, 6 psychological assistance to the victims of terrorism. Psychologists are already making a small but useful contribution to the assessment of the effects of terrorist acts on victims. They have, moreover, started to develop useful guidelines for assisting victims to recover from the effects of terrorist acts, although as yet little has been learned that adds to our knowledge of terrorists or terrorist groups. Another topic that has yet to be analyzed is the psychology of negotiators and negotiations. The possibility of making prediction about terrorist acts on the basis of psychological data has not yet been evaluated, either. One thing appears clear, however. Acts of political violence should be separated from non-political acts of criminal violence. The search for psychological profiles that will discriminate between terrorists and non-terrorists will otherwise be fruitless.
- Sociology and Law