Psychological Reasons Why Terrorists Are Not Afraid to Die


Why aren’t terrorists afraid  and does not care for their children, wife and family? What causes terrorist to not fear death is psychology reviewed by experts of psychology.

Scientists find most people who are ‘unite’, which are people who consider themselves truly integrated into the group, like a terrorist groups, would be willing to perform extreme actions and even ready to die for the good of the group. This is based on the feeling of unity and the feeling that their soul grows together in the group.

In the study, researchers recruited 506 students from Universidad Nacional de Educacion a Distancia in Spain. The results of this study have been published in Psychological Science.

Based on the responses of students in an online questionnaire, the researcher identified the participants as a group of ‘unified’ and ‘non-unified’. Then, researchers assessed the behavior of self-sacrifice from both groups.

To test the willingness of participants who dare to die for their group, the researchers conducted a survey based on different variations of  ‘Trolley Problem’.

‘Trolley Problem’ is created by British philosopher Judith Jarvis Thomas in the year 1967 actually presents a moral dilemma. People must choose whether to kill one person to save five strangers from a fatal crash or let them all die.

With different variations of the ‘Trolley Problem’, researchers did not examine self-sacrifice for the sake of strangers, but a survey of self-sacrifice to rescue members of  their group.

According to Science20, the results showed that the majority of participants in the ‘unified’ group are ready to take extreme action, which is willing to die for their group.

The results show that:

1. 75 percent are willing to die to save the lives of five members of their group
2. When given a choice to sacrifice a member of the group to kill escaping criminals, 63 percent said that they will sacrifice their group to kill those criminals.

“This study may provide new insight into the mindset  of groups with extremism ideology . In an era where the act of sacrificing their own lives for their group has a consequences  to change the world. It is very important to learn more about the psychological fundamentals of these activities,” said Bill Swann, professor of psychology at the University of Texas.