Topic: Human Aggression and Violence – The Psychology of Terrorism

In the weekly readings, we will explore the following: Review the major theories on the development of aggression and violence; emphasize the importance of cognitive processes in aggressive behavior; explore the interactions of biology and cognitive processes in aggressive behavior and violence; evaluate the motives of terrorists and goals of terrorist groups; and identify psychological concepts that contribute to the understanding of terrorist activity. The readings review the major psychological perspectives on aggression and violence.  Most psychologists today believe that aggression is acquired and maintained in the same way that other human behavior is acquired and maintained, with cognitive factors being especially important to consider. However, as more research data are published, this learning perspective becomes increasingly complex, and additional factors must be considered. For example, physiological arousal certainly plays a major role in aggressive and violent behavior. High levels of arousal seem to facilitate (not cause) aggressive behavior in many situations.


Which type of terrorism do you believe is the most difficult to explain, predict, and control? 

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