University of Twente Student Theses


What influences peoples' fear of terrorism?

Wesseler, L.W. (2019) What influences peoples' fear of terrorism?

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Abstract:In a day and age of often occurring terroristic motivated events like the Madrid train bombing, Norway attack or the attack in Paris, people get increasingly fearful to visit public places or to fly. People’s physical and mental health is affected by this. A previous study by Renn and Beninghaus (2013) provided an “integrative and systematic framework to study risk perception” (p.1) and was adjusted in the current study. The current study investigates 1) if and to what extent the factors ‘perception of terrorism’, ‘self-efficacy’, ‘trust in the government’ and ‘prejudice’ influence peoples’ fear of terrorism and 2) if the ‘perception of terrorism’ has the biggest influence on fear of terrorism. A sample of 107 participants conducted an online survey. Results have shown that ‘fear of terrorism’ is highly influenced by the ‘perception of terrorism’. Moreover, it was found that ‘prejudice’ also influences the ‘fear of terrorism’ to a small extent. For ‘self-efficacy’ and ‘trust’, results were found to be non-significant. This shows that the government should mainly focus on the perception people have about terrorism as it mainly influences peoples’ fear. Additionally, prejudice should be reduced in order to diminish fear. Individuals seem to think that they themselves and the government are helpless against the “uncontrollable force” (terrorism). Therefore, interventions should also focus on the resilience of the citizen. Limitations and directions for further research are provided.
Item Type:Essay (Bachelor)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:77 psychology
Programme:Psychology BSc (56604)
Keywords:Terrorism, Fear of terrorism, Trust, Self-efficacy, Perception, Prejudice
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