psychological theories relating to terrorism

1.Frustrating psycho-social conditions 
2. severe psychopathology
3. Personality disorder
4. Fanaticism

Frustrating Psycho-social Conditions

Frustration due to marginalization, poverty, unemployment is one of the oldest sociological theories which is related to terrorism i.e. terrorist comes from the groups that experience marginalization, poverty, unemployment, social alienation. people with such social disadvantages are thought to be at a higher risk for getting involved in the act of violence.

Psychopathology and Severe Mental Disorders

It is very well known fact that persons who commit acts of extreme abuse and destruction, killings and massacre have been regarded as inhuman, crazy and abnormal. Terrorist organization will probably be rather reluctant to enrol mentally ill persons in their groups, it is probable that a certain informal screening already takes place where serious psychopathology is discarded from organized terrorism.

Personality Disorder

People dawn to terrorism, may have some form of psychopathology such as personality disorders. The problem is that they are generally identified as terrorists after a long period of affiliation to a segregated group & one doesn’t know if the so called narcissistic traits( for example extreme sensitivity) to criticism, extreme flections of mood, tendency to split the world into black& white, lack of nuance, inability to form intimate bonds, lack of sensitivity to others needs & feelings are the cause or result of belonging to a fundamentalistic, fanatical or otherwise terrorist organization.


In the original sense of the word, a fanatic is a person who is passionately engaged in a religious cause. To a fanatic the world is divided into two categories: – Those that are with him and those that are against him. The terrorist is often labelled as a fanatic, especially in actions that lead to self-destruction. In psychological terms, the concept of fanaticism carries some implications of mental illness.

Modern Terror organization invests much time and effort, as well as extensive resources into methods of Psychological warfare. They carefully observe their target population to find weaknesses and cracks in the society, which can widen or exploited.

The terrorist study suggest that they target country’s media to learn how best to get their threats across and how to magnify the fears of the population and stimulate or to amplify criticism of the government and its policies. Dissenting views in the society are carefully collected and used to undermine the populations beliefs in the rightness of its own ways. The terror organizations from the outset that it will not achieve its goals purely by means of terror attacks. It must enlist the help of its victims themselves in gaining its objectives. A victory that would be impossible by military means is thus brought within reach through a protracted campaign of psychological warfare that gradually erodes the target populations will to fight and turns the tables against the stronger power.

If the terrorists are otherwise ordinarily, unremarkable people then one need to examine why have these normal people decided to engage in such an extreme activity as political violence. Once you are forced to throw away the terrorists are different model, then attention must be given to other areas. An important realization is that becoming involved in terrorism is a process. No body is born a terrorist. There is no bad gene at work here. Neither does anyone wake up one morning and decide that on that day they are going to start planting Bombs in public streets. Becoming a terrorist is in the first instance an issue of socialization.

Any society will possess some minorities or disaffected groups who rightly or wrongly perceive that the world is treating them harshly. In some cases there are genuine and very substantial causes for grievance. Individuals who belong to or identify with such disaffected groups share in as sense of injustice and persecution. It is from such pools that individual terrorist emerge. The move from the disaffected to the violent extremist is usually facilitated by a catalyst event. Normally this is an act of extreme physical violence committed by the police or security forces or other rival group against the individual, family, friends or simply anyone they can identify with. The combination of sense of belonging to a beleaguered group combined with the experience of an art of extreme violence against either oneself or significant others, is the impetus for some to engage in terrorism.

Terrorism is a paradox- a topical, high-profile subject with clear real-world relevance, yet with limited and desperate shortage of researches in the area. There is a need to encourage the younger researchers to take an interest in maintaining research activity in the area.

Aishwarya Says:

I have always been against Glorifying Over Work and therefore, in the year 2021, I have decided to launch this campaign “Balancing Life”and talk about this wrong practice, that we have been following since last few years. I will be talking to and interviewing around 1 lakh people in the coming 2021 and publish their interview regarding their opinion on glamourising Over Work.

If you are interested in participating in the same, do let me know.

Do follow me on FacebookTwitter  Youtube and Instagram.

The copyright of this Article belongs exclusively to Ms. Aishwarya Sandeep. Reproduction of the same, without permission will amount to Copyright Infringement. Appropriate Legal Action under the Indian Laws will be taken.

If you would also like to contribute to my website, then do share your articles or poems at

We also have a Facebook Group Restarter Moms for Mothers or Women who would like to rejoin their careers post a career break or women who are enterpreneurs.

You may also like to read:

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.