Explaining the origins of the Iran hostage crisis: A cognitive perspective
Abbreviated Journal Title
Terror. Polit. Violence
Iran hostage crisis; analogical reasoning; psychology of terrorism; HISTORICAL ANALOGIES; TAKING INCIDENTS; POLICY-MAKING; TERRORISM; MODEL; International Relations; Political Science
Psychological approaches have long been utilized to try to understand the mindsets of terrorists, but much of this literature has drawn on Freudian-inspired psychoanalytic approaches derived from the field of what is sometimes known as abnormal psychology. Building upon recent work which has largely dismissed the value of this kind of approach, this article suggests that we ought to draw more actively than hitherto upon newer, cognitive-based approaches to the study of terrorism. Stressing the importance of analogical reasoning in normal human reasoning, this article seeks to explain the actions of the Iranian students who stormed the U. S. embassy in Tehran in November 1979. Cognitive images of "another 1953,'' it is argued, played an especially decisive role in the hostage takers' decision-making processes. While analogical reasoning represents only one cognitive approach to decision-making, future research in the field of terrorist studies should utilize more up-to-date "mainstream'' approaches to understanding the psychology of terrorist decision-making.
Terrorism and Political Violence
"Explaining the origins of the Iran hostage crisis: A cognitive perspective" (2006). Faculty Bibliography 2000s. 6231.