The Impact of Terrorism on in-Group and Out-Group Perceptions and Relations.

Powerful Essays
Topics: Terrorism
Introduction
“One could argue that it never has been so important as it is now to understand people’s wiliness to sacrifice for a cause” (Ginges & Atran, 2011). The focus of this report is to examine the impact of terrorism on in-group and out-group perceptions and relations. This report aims to examine four experimental studies regarding different aspects of terrorism. Firstly, the four experimental papers will be discussed, through the lens of the rationale underlying each study, the methodology employed, the results and the limitations of each study. After which the ecological validity of the findings will be discussed and whether these results are reflective of real-life perceptions on terrorism. Summaries Das, E., Bushman, B. J., Bezemer, M. D., Kerkhof, P., Vermeulen, I. E. (2009). How terrorism news reports increase prejudice against out-groups: A terror management account.
This research tests and examines the influence and link between terrorism news and death related thoughts resulting in prejudice against out-group members.
Participants in study 1 consisted of 100 white European volunteers (40 men, 60 women). None of the participants were Muslim. Participants were randomly divided and assigned to one of two groups, in a between-subjects factorial design. The second factor in this research was not manipulated, as it occurred naturally in the middle of the data collection – the murder of Theo van Gogh, a Dutch film maker, by an Islamic extremist. One group watched a 12 minute programme about terrorism committed by Israeli extremists on Dutch news; the other group watched a 12 minute video clip on the 2004 Olympic Games. Subsequently, participants undertook a word fragment task which was composed of 17 death- related terms. Following this, participants undertook a measure of prejudice attitudes towards Arabs (as cited in Bushman & Banacci, 2004).
Study 2, consisted of 101 white European volunteers (39 men, 62 women). Firstly, participants



References: Bushman, B. J., & Bonacci, A. M. (2004). You’ve got mail: Using e-mail to examine the effect of prejudiced attitudes on discrimination against Arabs. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 40, 753-759. Das, E., Bushman, B. J., Bezemer, M. D., Kerkhof, P., Vermeulen, I. E. (2009). How terrorism news reports increase prejudice against out-groups: A terror management account. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 45, 453-459. Fischer, P., Postmes. T., Koeppl, J., Fredriksson, T. (2011). The meaning of collective terrorist threat: understanding the subjective causes of terrorism reduces its negative psychological impact. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 26(7) 1432-1445. Fischer, P., Ai, L. A. (2008). International terrorism and mental health: Recent research and future directions. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 23(3) 339-355. Ginges, J., Atran, S. (2011). Psychology out of the laboratory: The challenge of violent extremism. American Psychologist, doi: 10.1037-a0024715. Leidner, B., Castano, E., Zaiser, E., & Giner-Sorola, R. (2010). In-group glorification, moral disengagement and justice in the context of collective violence. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 36(8), 1115-1129. Spector, E. P. (1994). Using self-report questionnaires in OB research: A comment on the use of a controversial method. Journal of Organisational Behaviour, 15(5), 385-392. Rothschild, K. Z., Abdollahi, A., Pyszczynski, T. (2009). Does peace have a prayer? The effect of mortality salience, compassionate values, and religious fundamentalism on hostility toward out-groups. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 45, 816-827.

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