Perception of the Threat of Terrorism

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29 Scopus citations

Abstract

In light of the tense and ongoing security situation in Israel, one important issue that needs to be analyzed and understood is the perception of terrorism threats. Most studies focused mainly on the psychological implications of terrorist acts; this study examines the complexity of the manner in which the individual perceives the threat of terrorism. In all, 40 Israeli adults (22 women and 18 men) were interviewed using semistructured in-depth interviews. Qualitative analysis indicates that the components of the perception of terrorism that construct the evaluation and subjective perception of the participants are as follows: (a) perception of control, which is a feeling of loss of control and helplessness due to uncertainty, inability to predict threats, and the vagueness of the threat; (b) perception of vulnerability to the threat, such as a feeling of vulnerability to and potential victimization by terrorism; and (c) perception of fear of terrorism that includes responses of fear, anxiety, feeling of danger, and emotional distress. In addition, gender differences were found in the analysis. The findings of this study help gain a better understanding as to how people perceive the threat of terrorism. The findings also enable an understanding of the complexity of living under ongoing terrorism threats and may assist in understanding how citizens cope with and adjust to this threat.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)887-911
Number of pages25
JournalJournal of Interpersonal Violence
Volume34
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Mar 2019

Keywords

  • gender
  • perception
  • stress
  • terrorism

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