טכניון מכון טכנולוגי לישראל
הטכניון מכון טכנולוגי לישראל - בית הספר ללימודי מוסמכים  
M.Sc Thesis
M.Sc StudentInbar Malevski
SubjectAdaptive Behavioral Changes in Preparing for Terror
DepartmentDepartment of Industrial Engineering and Management
Supervisor Professor Kirschenbaum Alan
Full Thesis textFull thesis text - English Version


Abstract

Terrorism is a psychological tactic which uses violence and the threat of violence to generate an atmosphere of fear in more people than are directly influenced by the actual acts. Man's experience with terror is expected to lead to the development of specific types of adaptation behaviors that would increase society’s social resilience.

To examine this argument, a national survey of 800 households in Israel was conducted. The main purposes of the study were to determine how years of Arab terror has affected adaptation behaviors of Israeli civilians and to discover which variables are associated with different adaptive terror behaviors. A theoretical model containing 49 terror related behavioral changes was composed, elaborating the possible adaptive terror preparedness (ATP) behaviors and its predictors. The terror related behavioral changes were factor analyzed and produced eight adaptive terror preparedness behaviors: Coping, insurance, professional help, future plans, information, protective actions, religiousness, and avoidance behaviors. Additionally, 27 terror- related risk perceptions were factor analyzed and produced four terror risk perception components: past common terror risk perceptions, technological and environmental, unconventional terror, and terror related self- assessments. Regression analysis performed against each ATP factor revealed that each adaptation factor is uniquely predicted by a specific set of predictor variables. These analyses revealed that socio-demographic characteristics were the main predictors of the adaptive preparedness factors. The potential predicting variables were also regressed against the four terror risk perceptions components. This indicated that terror related risk perceptions are mainly predicted by other variables rather than background variables.

The mediation effect of terror related risk perceptions was examined, revealing only two mediation paths out of many possible.

This study also examined the difference in the prevalence of adaptive terror preparedness behaviors between parents and non parents participants. The results indicated that parents decide to execute adaptive terror preparedness behaviors that would protect against terror yet won’t cause additional adjustment challenges for their children.

Finally, the study examined the “mother hen effect” according to which motherhood as a family role is more influential than fatherhood in protecting the family from terror. The results showed that fathers are as involved as mothers and even more in adaptive terror preparedness behaviors in the family.

The results support the notion that adaptive behavioral changes are used as a survival strategy in increasing social resilience when confronting a continuous threat of terror.