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The Psychology of Terrorism Fears$
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Samuel Justin Sinclair and Daniel Antonius

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780195388114

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195388114.001.0001

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Terrorism and Fear

Terrorism and Fear

New Models for Understanding the Impact of Political Violence

(p.79) 4 Terrorism and Fear
The Psychology of Terrorism Fears

Samuel Justin Sinclair

Daniel Antonius

Oxford University Press

The purpose of this chapter is to further differentiate fear from more conventional models of psychopathology by presenting evidence for fear in the general population, as well as a preliminary body of research that has begun to demonstrate the negative effects of terrorism fears. Both social science and polling research is presented to illustrate how people experience fears differently, as well as how these fears affect behaviors (e.g., where a person lives or works, whether and how someone decides to travel, and how a person engages in the political process). The Terrorism Catastrophizing Scale (TCS) is presented as an assessment framework for measuring fear and its impact. Finally, this chapter discusses how external factors, including statements made by public officials and manipulations of the national terror alert system, influence people’s fears.

Keywords:   terrorism fears, psychopathology, Terrorism Catastrophizing Scale, terror alert system

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