L4 - Terrorism and Extremist Violence Flashcards Preview

Intro to Forensic Psychology > L4 - Terrorism and Extremist Violence > Flashcards

Flashcards in L4 - Terrorism and Extremist Violence Deck (42):

Who said this:

“ individuals whose offences are committed in association with a group, cause or ideology that propagates extremist views and actions and justifies the use of violence and other illegal activities in pursuit of its objectives”

Extremist Prisoners Working Group 2007


What is the term for a simple diagnostic story that reduces the complexity of a multifaceted state of affairs and allows you to project blame for your situation on to a group of other (persecuting) peopl

The single narrative


What is the single narrative?

A simple diagnostic story that reduces the complexity of a multifaceted state of affairs and allows you to project blame for your situation on to a group of other (persecuting) peopl


Why might a single narrative propel individuals into taking action?

They provide a diagnostic function, someone to blame


What are some common beliefs about Islamist terrorists?

- are hard and ruthless
- are fanatical and impossible to change
- are controlled by ISIS/Al Qaeda
- are highly religious and knowledgeable about Islam
- hate the west
- want to impose Sharia law on the west
- are altruistic in motivation, prepared to act as martyrs for their cause
- are capable of large scale violence towards civilians.


What are some commonalities between far right extremist groups and Islamic extremist groups?

- Poor adjustment, hadn't found their place in society. Need for identity and status
- Believe themselves to be the victim of conspiracies
- Project blame for all their ills on to an out-group
- Feel unsupported by government and believe that their race or culture is threatened with annihilation
- Adhere to ‘absolute truth’
- Believe they have God on their side and that there will be a ‘racial holy war’ or day of judgement when their enemies will be punished and they will be redeemed
- Use emotive language
◦ to invoke family loyalty within the in-group (‘brothers’ ‘sisters’ ‘umma’ - wider Muslim community),
◦ to dehumanise their enemies (‘infidel’, ‘mud people’)
◦ to enhance themselves (‘martyrs’ ‘vanguard’ etc.)
- Excitement for militancy, challenge and adventure


Who coined the term cognitive integrative complexity?

Suedfeld (1992)


What is cognitive integrative complexity?

Refers to function of higher brain in it's ability to discriminate between complicated concepts, that involve keeping multiple things in our heads at any one time.


What is high IC?

Associated with higher brains, which involve the cortex and higher level thinking.


What is low IC?

The greater use of lower brains, which are more categorical and more used when short of time or under stress.


How can text be scored based on IC?

- number of discriminations/finer points
- number of overall constructs that integrate into an wider/whole truth.


How are pre-war speeches designed in order to best prepare troops?

- Designed to get followers to think with their lower brains.
- Creates categorical comparisons, e.g. 'you're either with me, or you're not.'
- Fight or flight. Reduces a complex situation into a simple choice between survival and annihilation.


Why is Moghaddam's (2004) terrorism staircase not considered as a theory?

It has no explanatory power.


What is Moghaddam's (2004) terrorism staircase?

Describes an empirical state of beliefs of people. Less people believe in each stair the further up the staircase you go.


What did John Horgan (2013) say about radicalisation?

"The idea that radicalisation causes terrorism is perhaps the greatest myth alive today in terrorism research"

John Horgan 2013


Most terrorists are _____?

Actually criminals, with a criminal background. Have a bipolar view of the world and already have prepared themselves to break laws/overcome inhibitions, etc.


Many more people_____ than there are terrorists

hold radical beliefs


You don’t have to be _______ to contribute to a terrorist offence



Which 3 elements must be considered in order to understand and assess an individual's risk and vulnerability of getting into terrorism?

- engaged (in group, ideology or some cause)
- intent (to commit an offence, using violence or whatever means)
- capability (to commit an act of terrorism)


What is it called if you reverse engagement in a group, ideology or cause?



What is it called if you no longer have intent to commit a terrorist offence



What is it called if you are no longer capable to commit an act of terrorism?

TRICK QUESTION! You cannot go from being capable to disablement. Your knowledge and skills will remain, even if your deployment of them may cease.


Disengagement results in what?



What are push factors?

Individual grievances that the individual holds.


What are pull factors?

The promises of the single narrative. The emotional story that drags you in and promises rewards for the current and after life.


If ideology is not the driving force behind an individual turning to terrorism, what does it do?

Ideology sanctions and legitimises terrorist violence. Individuals will all have different personal reasons for their involvement, and they may not all align completely with the group ideology.


What stops more people from becoming terrorists?

- any level of success or belonging
- individual differences of experiences, and how those experiences are interpreted
- personality


Why might someone turn to terrorism? What makes them more vulnerable?

Feeling disrespected, aggrieved

Personal insecurity, isolation, sometimes associated with

Transitional periods (loss, change, cultural challenge failure) resulting in a cognitive opening

Need for identity, meaning & belonging Guilt for ‘un-Islamic’ behaviour

Sensitivity to injustice

Need for status (sometimes high status, almost narcissism)

Susceptibility to indoctrination

Desire for excitement, comradeship & adventure

Gaps in political, religious knowledge

Peer support for extremism


What is the opposite of authoritarian domination and what do both terms refer to?

Authoritarian submission.

Domination refers to individuals who like to lead and work in terms of black and white

Submission refers to individuals who like to follow.


What is the mindset of a terrorist?

Over-identification with group, cause or ideology

Loss of individual identity, agency

Single narrative explanation of world events

Polarised thinking dividing humanity into a persecuted in-group and a persecuting out-group

Devaluation of the out-group as unworthy, undeserving, less than human

'Ends justifies means' thinking

Emotional brains engaged

Readiness to engage in terrorism


Name the six steps to Syrian recruitment

1. mobilising anger, outrage and guilt

2. creating a new narrative

3. separating the individual from their family

4. demanding allegiance and acts of loyalty that compromise the individual

5. promising further rewards for joining

6. commitment to travel to Syria, completing the separation from family.


What is Azjen and Fishbein's (1980) Theory of Reasoned Action?

A theory which outlines the attitudinal shifts which must occur for intention (to commit a terrorist act) to become action.


What are the 3 beliefs to be changed and what are they changed to in Azjen & FIshbein's (1980) Theory of Reasoned Action?

- behavioural beliefs 'xyz is wrong' --> attitudes 'xyz can be justified'
- normative beliefs 'if I did xyz, I would be in trouble' --> subjective norms 'if I did xyz, people would approval of me'
- control beliefs 'I can't do xyz' --> perceived behavioural control 'I can do xyz'


How would the Good Lives Model (GLM) proposed by Ward et al., (2012) try to explain/treat the offending behaviour of terrorists?

It would say that terrorists are, or at least were, following normative goals (primary or secondary goods), which cannot be attained by regular, legal methods or means. Treatments of convicted terrorists would involve focus on their primary and secondary goals, and advice on how to solve problems in legal manners.


A transitional period in one's life leads to a _________ and may increase their _______.

Cognitive opening. may increase their vulnerability to terrorist views/engagement.


What are the three empirical pathways into terrorism and what are the percentages of each occurring?

- Noble cause pathway (35%-40%)
- Criminal (55%-60%)
- Clinical (<5%)


What is the noble cause pathway into terrorism?

Similar to the single narrative pathway, it involves the grooming of typical individuals/teens into extremist views and, later, actions.


What is the criminal pathway into terrorism?

The use of extremism by criminals to carry out acts of violence, gain financial benefits or other reasons.


What is the clinical pathway into terrorism?

Individuals suffering from mental health turning to terrorism as a result of their psychological deficits.


What are the differences between lone and solo actors?

Despite inconsistencies in definitions, it is generally agreed that lone actors do not belong to any wider terrorist/extremist group and act without clear command or control from any other individuals

Solo actors only carry out offences without company for operational reasons, and are instructed to do so.


Describe the link between mental health and terrorism as suggested by Corner, Gill and Mason (2016).

Authors' findings suggest that mental disorder in terrorists depends heavily on their role.
Those who are mass casualty offenders have the highest prevalence of mental health illnesses (50%). This rate is lower for lone actors (42%), solo actors (20%), lone dyads (7%) and group actors (2%).

Interestingly, the rates of disorder for only two of these roles are above the rate for the general population (25%).


What did Fowler (2015) find about rates of mental disorder pre-crime?

Channel referrals saw a high rate of mental disorder:

- Psychosis (16%)
- Non-psychotic disorders (20%)
- Communication and social competence difficulties / diagnosed autistic spectrum disorders (11%)
- 49% dysregulated emotions and behaviour
- 55% criminality