Behavioural reponses to the terrorism threat: Applications of the metric of fear
Faculty of Education and Arts
School of Communications and Arts / Centre for Research in Entertainment, Arts, Technology, Education and Communications
In Australia, terrorism is defined by the Australian Defence Force as the “use or threatened use of violence for political ends or for the purpose of putting the public or any section of the public in fear” (Martyn 2002). Among the various definitions of terrorism that exist is the universal notion that terrorism uses violence, targets non-combatants, is intended to intimidate and creates a state of terror. Importantly, all definitions agree that fear is the ultimate aim of terrorism. Following the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Centre and the Pentagon in 2001, Australian polls indicated heightened levels of fear and anxiety about a possible terrorist attack in Australia, despite the fact that risk assessment studies underline that the actual risk of a terrorist attack is marginal in comparison to many other mortality risks such as smoking and car accidents (Mueller 2004; Viscusi, 2003).