Fight and flight: Evidence of aggressive capitulation in the face of fear messages from terrorists

Article English OPEN
Iyer, A. ; Hornsey, M.J. ; Vanman, E.J. ; Esposo, S. ; Ale, S. (2014)
  • Publisher: Wiley

In an era of digital technology and the Internet, terrorists can communicate their threats directly to citizens of Western countries. Yet no research has examined whether these messages change individuals’ attitudes and behaviour, or the psychological processes underlying these effects. Two studies (conducted in 2008 and 2010) examined how American, Australian, and British participants responded to messages from Osama bin Laden that threatened violence if troops were not withdrawn from Afghanistan. Heightened fear in response to the message resulted in what we call “aggressive capitulation,” characterized by two different group-protection responses: (1) submission to terrorist demands in the face of threats made against one’s country, and (2) support for increased efforts to combat the source of the threat, but expressed in abstract terms that do not leave one’s country vulnerable. Fear predicted influence over and above other variables relevant to persuasion. Theoretical and practical implications are discussed.
  • References (26)
    26 references, page 1 of 3

    De la Baume, M. (2010, October 27). New bin Laden tape threatens France. New York Times. Retrieved from http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/28/world/europe/28osama.html?_r= 1&scp=2&sq=Osama%20bin%20Laden&st=cse.

    Doosje, B., Ellemers, N., & Spears, R. (1995). Perceived intragroup variability as a function of group status and identification. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 31, 410- 436.

    Fiske, S.T., Cuddy, A.J.C., Glick, P.S., & Xu, J. (2002). A model of (often mixed) stereotype content: Competence and warmth respectively follow from perceived status and competition. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 82, 878-902.

    Frijda, N.H., T. Kuipers, & E. ter Shure. 1989. Relations among emotion, appraisal, and emotional action readiness. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 57: 212-243.

    Gallup Poll (2013, 9 May). Terrorism in the United States. Retrieved from http://www.gallup.com/poll/4909/Terrorism-United-States.aspx

    Gerend, M.A., & Maner, J.K. (2011). Fear, anger, fruits, and veggies: Interactive effects of emotion and message framing on health behavior. Health Psychology, 30, 420-423.

    Giner-Sorolla, R., & S. Chaiken. (1997). Selective use of heuristic and systematic processing under defense motivation. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin 23: 84-97.

    Giner-Sorolla, R., & Maitner, A. T. (2013). Angry at the unjust, scared of the powerful: Emotional responses to terrorist threat. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 39, 1069-1082.

    Halperin, E., A.G. Russell, C.S. Dweck, and J.J. Gross. 2011. Anger, hatred, and the quest for peace: Anger can be constructive in the absence of peace. Journal of Conflict Resolution 55: 274-291.

    Hovland, C.I., Janis, I.L., & Kelly, H.H. (1953). Communication and persuasion. New Haven: Yale University Press. Sage.

  • Metrics
    No metrics available
Share - Bookmark