Academic journal article Psychology in Russia

Psychology of Safety and Resistance to Terrorism

Academic journal article Psychology in Russia

Psychology of Safety and Resistance to Terrorism

Article excerpt


The psychological component of terrorism in four major attitudes is considered in the article: psychology of terrorism, psychology of counteraction to terrorism, psychological training of experts and the psychological help to victims of terrorism. Socio-psychological factors of development of terrorism, including concept of "contributing events" as well as hypothesis "frustration-aggression" are investigated. Specific features and the external factors promoting involving into terrorism are analyzed. The system of measures of counteraction of transformation of groups of risk is presented to the potential terrorist organizations, including in aspect of the control over ideology, education, education and work of mass media. Features of work with victims of acts of terrorism and extreme situations, minimization of its negative consequences are made out. Psychological reactions of the experts, engaged by liquidation of consequences of actions of terrorism, resulting works with victims of extreme situations are revealed. Features of vocational training of the personnel working with victims of terrorism and extreme situations are specified. Ways of overcoming of the negative psychological consequences arising at experts as a result of long contact to victims of extreme situations are presented.

DOI: 10.11621/pir.2008.0006

Pages: 81-101

By: Zinchenko Yury P.

Themes: Social Psychology, Psychology of Management

In present epoch the mankind has collided with new global threat -terrorism. Having historical roots in the various social phenomena of the past, the terrorism today has found independent existence and various forms, representing constant threat of public and personal safety. The terrorism, being a complex phenomenon, has the various parties among which its psychological component acts as the major. The psychological component of terrorism disintegrates onto four major components, namely psychology of terrorism, psychology of counteraction to terrorism, psychological preparation of experts who are taking part in various situations connected with terrorism and the psychological help to victims of terrorism. Some questions concerning specified aspects of terrorism are considered below.

Socio-Psychological Factors in the Development of Terrorism[1]

The working out of socio-psychological models and methods of increasing the effectiveness of antiterrorist activities implies two levels of work:

* prevention: the analysis of conditions favouring the proliferation of terrorist "ideology" and terrorist attacks;

* optimization of the leverage in the course of a concrete antiterrorist action.

Among the main socio-psychological problems that form the basis for the development and manifestation of terrorism, researchers name the following ones: general social instability at the time of social changes, which causes a number of new social phenomena (previously uncommon), like changeable public opinion that expresses the positions of different social groups; a large number of mass social movements with the radical vector, the rise inside these movements of "risk-groups" with tendencies to extremism.

Therefore, studies that put forward the scientifically-based recommenda­tions for the development of methods of correction of such ideology are highly urgent. These recommendations may concern different aspects of social reality:

* explaining (through the mass media) the risks of the tendency to look for "the enemy figure", especially in the groups of the young;

* providing the adequate interpretation of the correlation between such factors as globalization and terrorism;

* open discussion of the present-day social problems, for instance, the employment of the young, material inequality in the modern society (causes, solutions, etc.);

* work with marginal groups (talking about understanding the criteria for social values, the correlation between freedom and law);

* attention to the general problems of political culture (for instance, the possibility of resolving social conflicts in a nonviolent way) in educational system and the mass media;

* purposive formation of positive models of behaviour. …

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