Narratives Role in Anti-Terrorist Messaging

Media is an influential medium to cultivate new ideas and potentially spark attitudinal changes.

In the Spring of 2016, Dr. Tunisha Singleton had the esteemed pleasure of taking part in a Department of Defense supervised simulation to create counter terrorism messages using narrative persuasion and positive psychology.

Members of the Media Psychology department at Fielding Graduate University were recognized, including Dr. Singleton for their exemplary participation within this exercise.

recognition-from-dod-joint-staff-for-media-psychology-page-001Positive psychology is an emerging field that serves to examine the source and nature of human strengths. Understanding the symbiotic and interdependent relationship between pro-social media and human traits such as optimism and resilience were crucial in approaching this simulation’s messaging.

Using positive psychology as a foundation to dispel fear within the Nineveh community, personas were created in order to understand the social context of the situation. silhouette.png

The Situation: Establish context; what is the current state of affairs.
TA: Target audience; civic religious, tribal leaders, natives to Ninewa community
Knowledge Objectives: What information do you want them to become aware of?
Belief Objectives: Core values; motivations leading to behavior change
Desired Outcome: Goal
Themes: Narrative themes; concepts
Representation: Needs; frustrations; attitudes; behaviors

Any messaging that comes from a specific community must be authentic to that culture or it runs the risk of being instantly rejected. Media has the power spark to relevant conversations regarding tangible current events. Planting seeds for a new ideology must begin with human-based material, as opposed to religious or political content. Because of this, military experts and psychology research were used in tandem to inform the design of all content creation.

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