Attitudinal effects of terrorism
Thursday June 20, 15.30 - 17.00
Session 3, Auditorium 2, Eilert Sundt building
Chair: Eline Drury Løvlien
- Julia Pearce: Examining the long-term impacts of the ‘Run, Hide, Tell’ campaign on public behavioural intentions in response to a marauding terrorist firearms scenario
- Malgorzata Kossowska: Radicalization under terrorist threat: Consequences for attitudes toward immigrants
- Violet Cheung-Blunden: Can concerns of terroristic threats explain right-wing voters’ anti-migrant sentiments on both sides of the Atlantic?
- Eline Drury Løvlien: European support for terrorist tactics: how group identities impact willingness to justify terrorism
Examining the long-term impacts of the ‘Run, Hide, Tell’ campaign on public behavioural intentions in response to a marauding terrorist firearms scenario
Julia Pearce, King’s College London, Lasse Lindekilde, Aarhus University, Dr David Parker, Aarhus University, and Professor Brooke Rogers, King’s College London
‘Run, Hide, Tell’ (RHT) is the primary UK communication campaign designed to prepare the public for responding to a marauding terrorist firearms attack (MTFA). Online survey experiments with 6003 respondents in the UK and Denmark found that RHT advice does not increase public risk perceptions about terrorism but does enhance perceptions about security services’ preparedness capabilities and increases trust in police advice. Furthermore, it increases intention to adopt RHT recommended behaviours and reduces intention of potentially life-threatening actions. However, this research does not establish whether these effects hold in the longer-term (i.e. do people remember RHT advice and does intended behaviour change remain).
This paper addresses this gap by presenting the findings of a 12 month follow up study with 1650 UK and Danish participants who took part in the initial surveys. This study followed the same protocol as the initial surveys but included additional questions to assess exposure and reflection on the campaign subsequent to initial research participation. Positive behavioural impacts of RHT advice are reduced but not eradicated over time. The results of this study will be discussed in relation to improving the effectiveness of public communications designed to mitigate the impacts of terrorist attacks in Europe.
Radicalization under terrorist threat: Consequences for attitudes toward immigrants
Małgorzata Kossowska, Aneta Czernatowicz – Kukuczka, Paulina Szwed
Jagiellonian University, Faculty of Philosophy, Institute of Psychology
Terrorist threat induces significant level of uncertainty and involve negative feelings of helplessness and anxiety among individuals and societies. In our studies however, we investigated whether people with high (vs. low) intolerance of uncertainty tend to become more radicalized under threat. In addition, we assumed that in times of threat, radicalization is expressed by these individuals through authoritarianism, which influence perception of groups perceived as threat-related. Specifically, we claimed that threat activates latent authoritarian tendencies that lead to radical behaviors toward immigrants among people with high (vs. low) levels of intolerance of uncertainty.
We tested our predictions in two studies. In the first study, terrorist attack in Paris served us as a natural threat manipulation. In repeated measure paradigm we assessed intolerance of uncertainty, authoritarian attitudes and attitudes toward threat-related (immigrants) and threat-nonrelated groups (unemployed). In the second study we repeated this schedule in experimental settings to test the full model of moderated mediation.
The results of both studies indicate that intolerance of uncertainty under threat led to authoritarian attitudes (which is not the case in the no-threat condition). In turn, authoritarianism mediated the effect of intolerance of uncertainty on radical coping strategies expressed by less tolerant, more rigid, and more punitive attitudes, but only towards group that was perceived as threat-related, i.e. immigrants.
Can concerns of terroristic threats explain right-wing voters’ anti-migrant sentiments on both sides of the Atlantic?
Violet Cheung-Blunden, Department of Psychology, University of San Francisco
A popular explanation for the emergence of right-wing populism on both sides of the Atlantic is that perceived terroristic threats triggered a wave of anti-migrant sentiments. Whether a sense of insecurity was a linchpin to sway voters on migration issues was tested in four samples.
Study 1 was conducted with 220 Americans and 231 Germans after the Paris terrorist attack. Two years later, Study 2 was preregistered and conducted on 151 British and 183 Spanish participants. Participants’ adherence to political ideologies was assessed by right-wing authoritarianism, neoliberalism and nationalism. Their sense of insecurity was measured by cognitive risk perception as well as the emotions of fear and anxiety. A replicated finding across the four samples showed that insecurity was not a mediator between right-wing ideology and anti-migrant sentiment. According to the indirect pathway, conservatives felt vulnerable about terroristic threats but their insecurity could not explain their anti-migrant sentiment. According to the direct pathways, right-wing values were the best explanations for anti-migrant sentiment. The present findings are in line with the classic view that ethnocentrism are not reactions to ongoing events but rather ingrained beliefs/values.
European support for terrorist tactics: how group identities impact willingness to justify terrorism
Eline Drury Løvlien, NTNU
Terrorism research is based on many assumptions on the individual characteristics of those who commit or support the use of terrorism, but no larger quantitative study exists on the subject in a European context. The paper uses data from the 2008 Wave of the European Values Study to examine how feelings of group identity and group threat impact attitudes towards the use of terrorist tactics. Little support is found for the culturalist idea that certain religious groups might be more predisposed to support terrorist violence.Rather the findings contradict this, as the only group that significantly differs from others is those who identify as not belonging to a religious denominations. Religious beliefs seems to decrease the likelihood of supporting terrorism.