The terrorist attacks in London Thursday served as a jarring reminder that in today's world, you never know what you might see when you pick up the newspaper or turn on the TV. Disturbing images of terror can trigger a visceral response no matter how close or far away from home the event happened. Throughout history, every military conflict has involved psychological warfare in one way or another as the enemy sought to break the morale of their opponent. But thanks to advances in technology, the popularity of the Internet, and proliferation of news coverage, the rules of engagement in this type of mental battle have changed. Whether it's a massive attack or a single horrific act, the effects of psychological warfare aren't limited to the physical damage inflicted. Instead, the goal of these attacks is to instill a sense of fear that is much greater than the actual threat itself. Therefore, the impact of psychological terror depends largely on how the acts are publicized and interpreted. But that also means there are ways to defend yourself and your loved ones by putting these fears into perspective and protecting your children from horrific images.
What Is Psychological Terror?
"The use of terrorism as a tactic is predicated upon inducing a climate of fear that is incommensurate with the actual threat," says Middle Eastern historian Richard Bulliet of Columbia University. "Every time you have an act of violence, publicizing that violence becomes an important part of the act itself." "There are various ways to have your impact. You can have your impact by the magnitude of what you do, by the symbolic character of target, or the horrific quality of what you do to a single person," Bulliet tells WebMD. "The point is that it isn't what you do, but it's how it's covered that determines the effect." For example, Bulliet says the Iranian hostage crisis, which began in 1979 and lasted for 444 days, was actually one of the most harmless things that happened in the Middle East in the last 25 years. All of the U.S. hostages were eventually released unharmed, but the event remains a psychological scar for many Americans who watched helplessly as each evening's newscast counted the days the hostages were being held captive. Bulliet says terrorists frequently exploit images of a group of masked individuals exerting total power over their captives to send the message that the act is a collective demonstration of the group's power rather than an individual criminal act. "You don't have the notion that a certain person has taken a hostage. It's an image of group power, and the force becomes generalized rather than personalized," says Bulliet. "The randomness and the ubiquity of the threat give the impression of vastly greater capacities." Psychiatrist Ansar Haroun, who served in the U.S. Army Reserves in the first Gulf War and more recently in Afghanistan, says that terrorist groups often resort to psychological warfare because it's the only tactic they have available to them. "They don't have M-16s, and we have M-16s. They don't have the mighty military power that we have, and they only have access to things like kidnapping," says Haroun, who is also a clinical professor of psychiatry at the University of California, San Diego. "In psychological warfare, even one beheading can have the psychological impact that might be associated with killing 1,000 of the enemy," Haroun tells WebMD. "You haven't really harmed the enemy very much by killing one person on the other side. But in terms of inspiring fear, anxiety, terror, and making us all feel bad, you've achieved a lot of demoralization."
Why Distant Terrors Trouble Us
When a horrific event happens, experts say it's natural to feel disturbed, even if the act occurred thousands of miles away. "The human reaction is to put yourself in the situation because most of us have good mental health and have the capacity to empathize," says Haroun. "We put ourselves in the shoes of the...
Ryan M. Faught
Arkansas Tech University
Terrorism has been a major topic of research for many years. We’ve learned a lot about terrorism and terrorist groups, but there are still major questions to be answered. What exactly is a terrorist? What causes ordinary people to become terrorists? What attracts people to terrorism? How do terrorist groups in the Middle East recruit and radicalize people from all over the world? In this paper I will discuss these questions and more according to the knowledge I’ve gained from reading these five research papers.
Terrorism is the use, or threat, of action which is violent, damaging or disrupting and is intended to influence the government or intimidate the public and is for the purpose of advancing a political, religious or ideological cause (De Zulueta, 2006). This or any definition of terrorism is still subjective depending on the “terrorist” and the situation. For instance, most Americans don’t consider the founding fathers as terrorists, but freedom fighters. In the same way, radical Muslims may look at al Qaeda as freedom fighters, although most of the world would view them as terrorists. The deciding factor that separates freedom fighters from terrorists appears to be the intentional murder of innocent people. Terrorist groups, such as al Qaeda are well known for such murders. Rather than merely fighting for freedom, they wish to create a...
...showing power, taking over a nation, and seeking to destroy people would be some of the reasons that would cause motivation to terrorists and assassins. This then places fear and psychological disorders with a society.
Terrorism consists of what and who of terror involves itself. Terrorism is since of evil, horror and violent acts. It is the killing of mass numbers of people for illogical reasons and beliefs." Terrorism has been used since the beginning of recorded history it can has been hard to define truly the reasons of why. The use of terrorism is unpredictable violence that is used against individuals or the government to attain a political power. Terrorism has been described as both a strategy and tactic. Many opinions depend on those points of view that can be represented often as a threat against the population or to achieve political gain. These tactics are to intimidate opponents and or to publicize grievances. Many of the tactics that are used are hijackings, bombing assassinations and random killings are acts of terrorisms the can be recorded and sent out to the media for the world to see.
The fear that terrorists install among their victims would be defined as a fear that captures the soul and places long term effects. There are so many major factors that play in the role of terrorism. Terrorist groups are used to coerce or...
...The PsychologicalEffects of Bullying
Bullying has become a high profile issue faced by many people, on a day to day basis. Most Americans believe that, a little teasing and bullying at school is just a childhood rite of passage. What they don’t know is that, there are long lasting, ramifications for victims, as well as for bullies; according to the 2009 issue of the Harvard Mental Health Center (Harvard University, 2009). Bullied children may acquire debilitating mental illnesses such as, depression, anxiety, eating disorders, body dysmorphic disorder, and in more serious cases suicidal tendencies. Chronic childhood bullying victims are at higher risks of suicide. “Bullying magnifies these genetic and environmental predisposing risk factors” (Veskler, 2011). A new wave of research shows that in fact, bullying can leave a negative, permanent imprint on a child’s brain, while still in its formative years. These neurological scars of a bullied victim closely resemble those of a physically or sexually abused child. Revealing these psychological long-term effects, has given the ability to precast bullying not just as a “rite of passage, but a serious form of childhood trauma” (Anthes, 2010).
What is bullying?
Bullying is unwarranted, intentional, aggressive behavior towards others (Anthes, 2010). It can happen in the form of physical (violent), verbal (name...
Memory, Therapy, Depression and Therapy in the Butterfly Effect
November 20, 2012
This paper revolves around the four main psychological aspects of the 2004 movie The Butterfly Effect which are memory retrieval in Evan, trauma in the characters, depression, and Evan's therapy. In memory we will look through the protagonist's, Evan, past and how he represses his memory and retrieves them back as adult. In trauma we will look at the different events Evan's friend Lenny experiences and how it affects his life and gives him traumatic disorders. Next, we will examine depressive symptoms in the character Kayleigh. Finally, we will look at the different treatments Evan's therapist uses on him and his reasons why. I will reveal each of the role these four aspects play and relate them to the characters and the movie.
Memory, Trauma, Depression and Therapy in The Butterfly Effect
In the movie The Butterfly Effect a boy named Evan develops a unknown hereditary disease where he blacks out during very traumatic events. These blackouts eventually fade away when we moves away and he never experiences them again. One day, in college he reads an old journal from his childhood and all the old memories hit him like a brick. Within days he discovers he is able to actually go back in time and change those past traumatic...
...The Psychological Impact of Unemployment
Jackson Lee Kok Onn
B. Thesis Statement: Unemployment not only affects the country’s economic status but also leads to various psychological impacts on the unemployed group.
II. People who are unemployed have a higher risk to suffer from depression.
A. Depressed most of the day as indicated by subjective reports or observation
B. Occurs when people lose their jobs and feel unhappy
C. Become slow, less productive, indecisive, uncertain and careless in doing things
III. A person who is unemployed may become aggressive.
A. Become dangerous to themselves or others and change in mental status or sudden behaviour change
B. Feels frustrated due to lose of job and want to vent his emotion
C. Family abused and cause injuries
IV. Inferiority complex might be another effect of unemployment.
A. Social avoidance, high sensitivity and fear of making mistakes
B. Being look down by the people around and the society
C. Feeling bad, ashamed, depress and also limited potential to success
The Psychological Impact of Unemployment
According to Cambridge Dictionary, “Unemployment is defined as the number of people who do not have a job which provides money or the state of being unemployed”. In fact, every country has a certain...
...Having read the definition of terrorism, I was surprised that the principal target of the terrorist was the government rather than just innocent civilians. This was interesting as it made me think about terrorism from the opposite point of view, from that of the “terrorists” whom we fear. In their point of view, all that the Western countries do is like a terrorist attack on them, trying to affect and repair their government. From this idea, my group then wanted to explore the nature and upbringing of the various eastern countries.
We wanted to explore this idea through a series of moving images to show the progression of a developing child into becoming a terrorist. We decided that in order to effectively emphasize their upbringing, we would have to use satire and perhaps even some humour. Grace had the idea of teaching children to make a bomb, using a light patronising tone: being an obvious connotation to a primary school teacher. This juxtaposition was effective as it emphasized the kindness and innocence of young school child against the terror or terrorism that will inevitably be carried out by these children in their later years.
The placards were used to show the passing of time, we had the timings of the 7/7 day on them (7:45, 7:50 etc.). Which was effective as it counted down to the moment of the explosion, aiding the climax of the scene: which was known by the audience as we’d previously read exactly what times the...
...Terrorism: political, psychological and religious aspects.
Today terrorism is very much a concerning issue which has dominated our lives, most particularly, since the attack on the twin towers in the New York City in September 11th 2001. Thus, it has been the centre of much discussion and has gained unprecedented importance. Apart from this terrorists struck at targets around the world became a central front in the global war againstterrorism and the locus of so many deadly attacks against civilians. Al-Qaida and other terrorist groups made clear once again their relentless pursuit of evil in deﬁance(вызывающее поведение, вызов) of any law—human or divine. The year saw heinous crimes against the international community, humanitarian organizations, and mankind.
Academics, politicians, security experts and journalists all use a variety of definitions of terrorism. Some definitions focus on the terrorist organizations mode of operation, while others emphasize the motivations and characteristics of individual terrorists.
A United Nations Security Council report described terrorism as any act “ intended no cause death or serious bodily harm to civilians or non-combatants with the purpose of intimidating the population or compelling government or an international organization to do or abstain of doing any act”.
There are however different approaches to terrorism. Some experts...
...In the past years, terrorism has increased quite gradually, in both attacks and fatalities. Source 2 shows a graph comparing the number of Jihadist attacks Pre British and American invasion to post invasion stats. The pre invasion statistics shows that there were just 25 worldwide whereas post invasion there was a drastic increase in attacks to 200 per year. Source 20 shows the number of terrorist attack incidents and fatalities from the 1st of October 1998 through to the 8th of November 2006. From 1/1/98-9/11/2001 the number of fatalities per month were 176 however there was a great different between 9/12/2001-8/11/2006 as the number rose to 444. The source came from the National Memorial Institute for the prevention of terrorism in 2006, this shows me that it is a reliable source but it only gives stats for America and no other, therefore it would not prove whether or not terrorism has increased globally. In recent years terror is everywhere internationally and has be caused by many different problems in the world, for example media, politics, poverty, terrorism seems to be the answer for people either in deprived areas or for those angered by foreign affairs. Yet it is high debated of which cause is the main cause.
People around the world have different views of what terrorism's final definition actually is. Source 1 shows different definitions given by some big international organisations. The United Nations...