What is it about?

We use prospect theory to explain how terrorists choose.

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Why is it important?

We show how to find the attack method that would be preferred by terrorists who frame their possible gains and losses against a predecessor's or rival's achievements.


The idea the number of injuries and fatalities that a predecessor or rival has inflicted is the reference point for a terrorist planning an attack is the centrepiece of the analysis. We answer the question of where the reference point comes from: it comes from the outcomes (fatalities, ransoms, media attention etc.) of a predecessor's or rival's attacks.

Dr Peter J Phillips
University of Southern Queensland

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: PROSPECT THEORY AND TERRORIST CHOICE, Journal of Applied Economics, May 2014, Elsevier,
DOI: 10.1016/s1514-0326(14)60006-4.
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