College of Arts and Sciences
Master of Arts in General Psychology (MAGP)
NACO controlled Corporate Body
University of North Florida. Department of Psychology
Dr. Dan Richard
Dr. Debbie Wang
Dr. Michael Toglia
Dr. Barbara Hetrick
Implicit knowledge influences decision-making in a variety of areas, including conflict resolution and decisions about war. Individuals may unknowingly apply implicit knowledge from past experiences to present experiences, even if that information leads to less accurate decisions in the present experience. The current study is an exploration into how implicit knowledge of past international conflicts and fear of terrorism affects recommendations for military conflict resolution in current international conflicts. Priming is one way to make implicit knowledge salient, and participants in this study were implicitly primed to think of either the Iraq War, World War II, or no war in particular before reading a description of the Syrian Civil War. Participants reported their recommendations for resolving the conflict in Syria, including to what extent they would recommend that the United States intervene using military force. Fear of Terrorism, which is theoretically linked to knowledge and attitudes about Middle Eastern conflicts, was also measured. Results showed that support for U.S. military intervention in Syria was significantly impacted by Fear of Terrorism when participants had been primed to think of the Iraq War. This effect was such that, when primed to think of the Iraq War, higher Fear of Terrorism predicted greater support for military intervention in Syria. This effect did not occur in the other priming conditions. This study extends current research by examining how implicit priming of past conflicts and fear of terrorism interact to influence Americans’ decision-making in support for military intervention in Middle Eastern conflicts.
Snook, Daniel Walter II, "Is What Is Past Always Prologue? Priming to Past Conflicts and Fear of Terrorism Influence Americans’ Support for Military Intervention in Syria" (2015). UNF Graduate Theses and Dissertations. 561.