Today we have witnessed again another appalling and outrageous atrocity in France.Men woman and children enjoying Bastille Day with fun and excitement then dead on the plaza. Whilst we still don’t know the full details of this specific incident, social media sees this as terrorism and that is what it really is.
We ask: What is the mindset and covert motives of terrorists in or society today which causes mass fear, anxiety, depression and mayhem to those trying to get on with their daily lives? Well, first of all we as psychologists still look for answers to complex issues. To use the pejorative word “Evil ” is foolish and misleading. We do need a constructive and intelligent response based on empirical research facts well known in the scientific literature.Most research shows that terrorists, in particular Islamic terrorism, show specific personality traits associated with more specific socio-cultural factor. It is the uniqueness of this combination which prepares and develops there mindset preparing it for radicalization. Those young people often groomed by social media become ideologically brainwashed by more seasoned figures. They feel a deep sense of marginalization of loneliness and alienation.To some degree they experience disenfranchisement, and may see themselves as victims of a rapidly growing advanced industrialized society. They would feel a sense of losing power and global control as this triggers the fight for real justice.Case studies frequently show us the bias towards the adolescent mindset
A key issue is that they are savvy in the use of social media and many of their families share their world view online where rapid changes in their mindset are then instilled rapidly across their peers and extended families. We do know form research that they are psychopathic with a deficiency in moral reasoning, empathy and unable to take the others perspective.. In the majority of cases they feel as if they dont “fit in” and so lose out on the benefits society has to offer. Their psychological mental functioning in the part of the brain that controls emotion and impulsivity is still developing , in the pre frontal cortex. When fully developed and matured, its normal function is to prevent individuals from acting inappropriately. When not functioning properly the person seeks immediate gratification. Many recruiters of international terrorist organizations could use this immaturity as a strategy to switch off the empathy centre.We need to develop psychological methods to de categorize these individuals from any culture and break the mindset.