Several of the major theoretical perspectives within psychology can contribute to our understanding of the September 11 attacks and their aftermath. An argument derived from the psychodynamic approach suggests that terrorism may be a product of ambivalence rather than anger. From an evolutionary standpoint, the resentment that breeds terrorism, and the altruism that has arisen in its wake, may be seen as two sides of the same coin. The decision theoretic approach suggests that in the attempt to prevent future terrorist attacks, we face a seeming tradeoff between civil rights and civil liberties. Finally, the personality development approach suggests that difficult times can help forge new moral leaders.
Analyses of Social Issues & Public Policy – Wiley
Published: Dec 1, 2002