Terror attacks: Understanding social risk views between Singaporean lay and security practitioners

Document Type

Conference Proceeding


Faculty of Computing, Health and Science


School of Computer and Security Science / Centre for Security Research




Loo, Y. H., & Brooks, D. J. (2009). Terror attacks: Understanding social risk views between Singaporean lay and security practitioners. In 2nd Australian Security and Intelligence Conference (p. 33).


This study investigated the psychometric risk perception between lay people and security practitioners towards terrorist attack against Singaporean educational institutions. Being located in Southeast Asia, Singapore is not immune to terrorist attacks from rebels found in the region. To promote fear and chaos, terrorists have begun to attack private and neutral institutions in order to promote their cause. Mosques, hospitals and other such institutions are no longer immune from terrorist attacks. The psychometric risk paradigm offers a basis for examining empirical views towards potential terrorist attack against such institutions. Survey data in comparing terrorist attack against Singapore’s educational institutions with five other criminal activities were collected from two cohorts of 100 college students (considered as lay people) and 100 security practitioners. The study demonstrated that the students had a higher risk perception when compared to the security practitioners that terrorist attack against educational institutions in Singapore could occur, resulting in increased levels of dread and reduced feelings of control. Findings from the study supported previous studies that, in particular, there are differences between lay and practitioners views of risk, with practitioners’ generally rating risk lower than lay people.

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