The psychology of small groups: Implications for counter terrorism investigation

Karl Roberts

    Research output: Book chapter/Published conference paperConference paperpeer-review


    The aim of this paper is to discuss the application of social psychological theory to the investigation of terrorism,focusing particularly upon the psychology of small groups.When individuals form a group, regardless of whether it is made up of strangers or those with pre-existing links, the group goes through a series of stages in which the aims,objectives and roles of the group members are identified.These stages occur for all groups and are characterised by particular behaviours, attitudes and feelings within the group.Tuckerman (eg. Tuckerman, 1965; Tuckerman and Jensen,1977) provided a model to describe the developmental stages of groups, identifying five stages'Forming, Storming,Norming, Performing and Mourning.The attitudes and behaviours at each stage are readily identifiable from observations of group interactions and,drawing upon examples from the behaviour of terror groups,these will be explored. Discussion will examine the use of this model in the investigation of terrorism, focussing particularly upon its relevance to the collection and analysis of intelligence material, the assessment of risk and the management of terrorist suspects.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationInternational Serious and Organised Crime Conference 2010
    Place of PublicationCanberra, ACT
    Number of pages1
    Publication statusPublished - 2010
    EventInternational Serious and Organised Crime Conference - Melbourne, VIC, Australia
    Duration: 18 Oct 201019 Oct 2010


    ConferenceInternational Serious and Organised Crime Conference


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