Terrorism has been significantly on the rise over the past several years, making it one of the major concerns for governments and security organizations. The identity of terrorists and the activities perpetrated by them have been associated with certain races, religious affiliations and other geographical parameters, with little concern to understand the development of these characteristics among humanity. Most individuals have classified terrorists as being members of specific races and hence developed fallacious theories that associate terrorism with genetic makeup and other mental problems.
Terrorism is however not brought about by mental breakdown or genetic makeup of its perpetrators. Terrorism can be classified as a cult that develops gradually and instills different perceptions to the minds of its followers (Stahelski 1). Terrorism can be easily created using social psychological condition, one of the common processes in psychology for altering human reasoning and behavior.
Just like any cult, terrorism has several stages that a follower must undergo before becoming a fully established terrorist. Under the social psychological conditioning theory, there are five phases that a terrorist must go through before becoming a complete radical (Siegel 123). The phases in social psychological conditioning fit very well with the cultic condition present in terrorism.
Under the social psychological conditioning, the first phase entails depluralization, which is followed by self-deindividualization, then other-deindividualization, dehumanization and lastly demonization. These five phases are applicable to terrorism in the order they appear in social psychological condi...
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...egions and other communities are superior to others, or that other groups mistreat them. This creates disparity and tension among the younger generation who may decide to join terror groups to retaliate against the said oppression. Changing the basic teachings would eliminate the urge by younger individuals to join terrorism.
Aronson, Elliot, Timothy D. Wilson and Robin M. Akert. Social Psychology: The Heart and the Mind. New York: HarperCollins, 2002. Print.
Siegel, Larry J. Criminology. Mason, OH: Cengage Learning, 2011. Print.
Stahelski, Anthony. “Terrorists Are Made, Not Born: Creating Terrorists Using Social Psychological Conditioning.” HomelandSecurity.org. Homeland Security, Mar. 2004. Web. 31 Dec. 2011.
Waller, James. Becoming Evil: How Ordinary People Commit Genocide and Mass Killing Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press, 2002. Print.
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