The Role of the Quest for Personal Signicance in Motivating Terrorism
O ne particularly striking form of aggression is the attacking of civilians to reach political objectives, labeled terrorism. The use of terrorism is an extreme form of aggression because it targets individuals traditionally viewed as innocent bystanders. Thus, psychologists studying terrorism have focused their aim at understanding the reasons a person becomes a terrorist or supports terrorist activity. In short, researchers and theorists have been concerned with the factors that drive a person to attack civilians. Three general categories of explanations have been offered: (1) ideological reasons; (2) personal causes; and (3) social pressures.