Two studies, which took social categorization and right-wing authoritarianism into account two factors unexamined jointly in previous research, explored reporting of potential terrorist threats in cyberspace in a generally Muslim-intolerant 'Eastern European' setting. In Study 1, 92 white men observed a simulated online encounter between an anti-Muslim extremist and two of his apparent followers 'planning to do something big and violent.' The results show that participants took less time to respond to the terrorist threat if Muslims were referred to in terms of a broad European identity rather than a narrow national identity, but only when participants were primed with the broad identity. In Study 2, where a separate group of 100 white men observed the same encounter, the focus was put on the mono-cultural and multicultural primes of their national identity. The response time was shorter when participants were primed with the multicultural contents, but only when the Muslim outgroup was described in terms of national rather than European inclusion. Providing theoretical guidelines for facilitating the reporting of potential terrorist threats in cyberspace, this work complements the classical social identity model of helping by revealing new layers of complex interactive categorization and their potential application to mobilizing counter-terrorist community responses.
- Terrorist threat