A psychological perspective on security

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


This paper suggests that politically rooted security problems should also be analysed from a psychological perspective. As individuals evaluate the level of security via cognitive processes, the outcomes are subjective. Security beliefs are formed on the basis of the perception of threat in the environment with which the individual perceives a difficulty in coping. Two studies performed in Israel, where the security problem is acute, illustrate how differently individuals experience insecurity, and how different factors influence beliefs about security. These results indicate that while military, political, or economic events are real, they have to be perceived in order to become part of the individual's reality: external events are subjectively interpreted and understood. This approach assigns special importance to political psychology in studying security problems.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)59-71
Number of pages13
JournalApplied Psychology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1998


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