Militant Extremist Mind-Set: Proviolence, Vile World, and Divine Power

  • Stankov L
  • Saucier G
  • Knežević G
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In the present article, the authors report on the development of a scale for the measurement of the militant extremist mind-set. A previous pilot study identified 56 statements selected from writings of various terrorist groups as well as from psychological, historical, and political texts on terrorism. These statements, together with measures of personality, social attitudes, values, and social cynicism, were administered to participants from 9 countries (N = 2,424). A series of exploratory factor analyses of 56 statements produced 3 factors: Proviolence, Vile World, and Divine Power. Correlations of these factors with external variables indicate that Divine Power is a traditional religiosity scale, whereas Proviolence and Vile World scales cannot be accounted for by the existing psychological constructs. The distribution of scores on the Proviolence scale is skewed, indicating that the majority of participants disapprove of this attitude. The authors also present means for the countries included in the analysis. Participants from Malaysia endorse Vile World and Divine Power statements stronger than participants from other countries. The 3 Asian countries (China, Korea, and Malaysia) endorse Proviolence more strongly than countries from other parts of the world.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Militant mind-set
  • Proviolence
  • Social attitudes
  • Terrorism

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  • Lazar Stankov

  • Gerard Saucier

  • Goran Knežević

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