Construing a “Perfect Knight”: A Personal Construct Investigation of Mass Murder
On July 22, 2011, Anders Behring Breivik emailed a compendium entitled, “2083: A Declaration of European Independence,” to more than 1,000 addresses before bombing government buildings in Oslo and attacking a Labor Party youth camp, killing 77 people. This article adopts a credulous attitude and analyzes a personal section of his compendium from a personal construct psychology perspective, as if it were a self-characterization. Its aim is to understand further the construing processes of individuals who become “radicalized” or engage in acts of extreme violence, on the assumption that such understanding is a prerequisite for preventative and restorative strategies. The personal construct formulation of Breivik's construing and actions is compared with the analysis of terrorism by an historian, Roger Griffin.
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Document Type: Research Article
Affiliations: 1: Department of Psychology, University of Hertfordshire, Hatfield, Hertsfordshire, UK 2: Department of Psychology, University of Oslo, Oslo, Norway
Publication date: April 3, 2015