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NCJ Number: 220159 Find in a Library
Title: Ethno-Psychological Characteristics and Terror-Producing Countries: Linking Uncertainty Avoidance to Terrorist Acts in the 1970s
Journal: Studies in Conflict and Terrorism  Volume:30  Issue:9  Dated:September 2007  Pages:801-823
Author(s): Robert M. Wiedenhaefer; Barbara Riederer Dastoor; Joseph Balloun; Josephine Sosa-Fey
Date Published: September 2007
Page Count: 23
Type: Research (Applied/Empirical)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This study examined why most of the world’s terrorism occurs in but a few of the world’s countries.
Abstract: This study achieves clear insights into the group psychology aspects of terror cells by moving completely away from the individual terrorist and the specific terrorist group to focus, instead, on the cultural features of a country. Although it appears that more anxiety-prone cultures provide many of the necessary facilitators for terrorist group recruitment, formation, cohesion, and sustainment, this model should be further analyzed and confirmed with a number of empirical research endeavors. Hofstede’s extensive study of psychological differences deriving from cultural values of countries grew out of his work with IBM managers across 64 countries in the late 1960s and 1970s. He identified and established construct validity for four distinct dimensions of country values and culture in all regions of the world: (1) power distance (PD), the degree of equality or inequality among people in a society; (2) individualism (IND), describing the extent to which a society reinforces individual achievement and personal accomplishment; (3) masculinity (MAS), emphasizing male “machismo” power, achievement, material goods, and enforcement of gender segregation, while deemphasizing interpersonal relationships; and (4) uncertainty avoidance (UA), denoting the level of intolerance for uncertain and ambiguous situations within a society. The extent to which Hofstede’s cultural values relate to terrorism in the 1970s in 51 countries is analyzed. The study identified uncertainty avoidance as characteristic of terror-producing countries. High uncertainty avoidance associated with terror-producing countries explains the powerful enabling effect of cultural stress and anxiety for group-induced terrorist acts. 6 tables, 5 figures, and 49 notes
Main Term(s): Terrorism/Mass Violence
Index Term(s): Cultural influences; Group behavior; Individual behavior; Sociology; Terrorism causes; Violence; Violence causes
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