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Terrorists, up close and personal.

Terrorists, up close and personal

There is a psychological profile that seems to hold for members of several diverse terrorist groups, according to Rona Fields of Associates in Community Health & Development in Alexandria, Va.

Fields administered a test of emotional temperament and reactivity to 28 members of a Northern Ireland paramilitary organization. All of their personality scores fell within the normal range, she says, indicating that political, social and individual factors can lead to the readiness of otherwise normal people to commit violence without remorse.

According to the study results, terrorists tend to be young people brought up amid intergroup violence who lack anxiety about their anger toward a perceived threat of annihilation and who have high levels of curiosity. They are attracted to organizations advocating violence to promote their identity group's cause and actively seek novel and adventurous ways to express their anger. Fields says the above pattern fits the Irish youths as well as previously studied members of Palestinian and South African terrorist groups.
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Author:Bower, Bruce
Publication:Science News
Date:Sep 6, 1986
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