Contemporary militant extremism: A linguistic approach to scale development

  • Stankov L
  • Higgins D
  • Saucier G
 et al. 
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In this article, the authors describe procedures used in the development of a new scale of militant extremist mindset. A 2-step approach consisted of (a) linguistic analysis of the texts produced by known terrorist organizations and selection of statements from these texts that reflect the mindset of those belonging to these organizations and (b) analyses of the structural properties of the scales based on 132 selected statements. Factor analysis of militant extremist statements with participants (N = 452) from Australia, Serbia, and the United States produced 3 dimensions: (a) justification and advocacy of violence (War factor), (b) violence in the name of God (God factor), and (c) blaming Western nations for the problems in the world today (West factor). We also report the distributions of scores for the 3 subscales, mean differences among the 3 national samples, and correlations with a measure of dogmatism (M. Rokeach, 1956).

Author-supplied keywords

  • Extremism
  • Linguistic analysis
  • Militant mindset
  • Scale development
  • Terrorism

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