The Political Psychology of Cyber Terrorism

Ryan Shandler, Keren L. G. Snider, Daphna Canetti

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


This chapter examines the phenomenon of cyberterrorism through the lens of political psychology. The emergence of cyberterrorism as a novel threat has roiled international security and given rise to a new wave of research that seeks to understand how exposure to destructive digital attacks influences political attitudes and behaviour. In this chapter, we review the leading empirical studies that have emerged as part of this new research focus. We begin by presenting a consolidated political psychology model of exposure to cyberterrorism that guides our analysis throughout the chapter. We then apply this model to the two predominant political outcomes that recur in the empirical literature – public confidence and trust in institutions, and foreign policy attitudes. Finally, we pinpoint the key gaps in our understanding of the psycho-political effects of cyberterrorism exposure and propose a research agenda that accounts for the evolving nature of the field.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Cambridge Handbook of Political Psychology
EditorsChris G. Sibley, Danny Osborne
Place of PublicationCambridge
PublisherCambridge University Press
Number of pages17
ISBN (Electronic)9781108779104
ISBN (Print)9781108489638
StatePublished - 2022


  • Cyberterrorism
  • Cybertterror
  • Digital terror
  • Cybersecurity
  • Public confidence
  • Retaliation


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