NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ1015580
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013-Oct
Pages: 17
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0003-066X
Terrorism--A (Self) Love Story: Redirecting the Significance Quest Can End Violence
Kruglanski, Arie W.; Belanger, Jocelyn J.; Gelfand, Michele; Gunaratna, Rohan; Hettiarachchi, Malkanthi; Reinares, Fernando; Orehek, Edward; Sasota, Jo; Sharvit, Keren
American Psychologist, v68 n7 p559-575 Oct 2013
Jean-Jacques Rousseau's concepts of self-love ("amour propre") and love of self ("amour de soi meme") are applied to the psychology of terrorism. Self-love is concern with one's image in the eyes of respected others, members of one's group. It denotes one's feeling of personal significance, the sense that one's life has meaning in accordance with the values of one's society. Love of self, in contrast, is individualistic concern with self-preservation, comfort, safety, and the survival of self and loved ones. We suggest that self-love defines a motivational force that when awakened arouses the goal of a significance quest. When a group perceives itself in conflict with dangerous detractors, its ideology may prescribe violence and terrorism against the enemy as a means of significance gain that gratifies self-love concerns. This may involve sacrificing one's self-preservation goals, encapsulated in Rousseau's concept of love of self. The foregoing notions afford the integration of diverse quantitative and qualitative findings on individuals' road to terrorism and back. Understanding the significance quest and the conditions of its constructive fulfillment may be crucial to reversing the current tide of global terrorism.
American Psychological Association. Journals Department, 750 First Street NE, Washington, DC 20002-4242. Tel: 800-374-2721; Tel: 202-336-5510; Fax: 202-336-5502; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A