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Psychological Vulnerabilities and Propensities for Involvement in Violent Extremism
Behavioral Sciences and the Law (2014)
  • Randy Borum, University of South Florida

Research on the psychology of terrorism has argued against the idea that most terrorist behavior is caused by mental illness or by a terrorist personality. This article suggests an alternative line of inquiry – an individual psychology of terrorism that explores how otherwise normal mental states and processes, built on characteristic attitudes, dispositions, inclinations, and intentions, might affect a person’s propensity for involvement with violent extremist groups and actions. It uses the concepts of “mindset” – a relatively enduring set of attitudes, dispositions, and inclinations – and worldview as the basis of a psychological “climate,” within which various vulnerabilities and propensities shape ideas and behaviors in ways that can increase the person’s risk or likelihood of involvement in violent extremism.

  • psychology of terrorism,
  • terrorist psychology,
  • terrorist mindset,
  • terrorism risk
Publication Date
Citation Information
Randy Borum. "Psychological Vulnerabilities and Propensities for Involvement in Violent Extremism" Behavioral Sciences and the Law Vol. In Press (2014)
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