National Academies Press: OpenBook
Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2011. Threatening Communications and Behavior: Perspectives on the Pursuit of Public Figures. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/13091.
×

Threatening Communications and Behavior

PERSPECTIVES ON THE PURSUIT OF PUBLIC FIGURES

Cherie Chauvin, Editor

Board on Behavioral, Cognitive, and Sensory Sciences

Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education

NATIONAL RESEARCH COUNCIL
OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES

THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS

Washington D.C.
www.nap.edu

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2011. Threatening Communications and Behavior: Perspectives on the Pursuit of Public Figures. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/13091.
×

THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS
500 Fifth Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20001

NOTICE: The project that is the subject of this report was approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Council, whose members are drawn from the councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine.

This study was supported by Contract/Grant No. BCS-0827794 between the National Academy of Sciences and the National Science Foundation. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the organizations or agencies that provided support for the project.

International Standard Book Number-13: 978-0-309-18670-4

International Standard Book Number-10: 0-309-18670-6

Copies of this report are available from

National Academies Press,

500 Fifth Street, N.W., Lockbox 285, Washington, DC 20055; (800) 624-6242 or (202) 334-3313 (in the Washington metropolitan area); Internet, http://www.nap.edu.

Copyright 2011 by the National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.

Printed in the United States of America.

Suggested citation: National Research Council. (2011). Threatening Communications and Behavior: Perspectives on the Pursuit of Public Figures. C. Chauvin, ed. Board on Behavioral, Cognitive, and Sensory Sciences, Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press.

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2011. Threatening Communications and Behavior: Perspectives on the Pursuit of Public Figures. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/13091.
×

THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES

Advisers to the Nation on Science, Engineering, and Medicine


The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit, self-perpetuating society of distinguished scholars engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology and to their use for the general welfare. Upon the authority of the charter granted to it by the Congress in 1863, the Academy has a mandate that requires it to advise the federal government on scientific and technical matters. Dr. Ralph J. Cicerone is president of the National Academy of Sciences.


The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964, under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences, as a parallel organization of outstanding engineers. It is autonomous in its administration and in the selection of its members, sharing with the National Academy of Sciences the responsibility for advising the federal government. The National Academy of Engineering also sponsors engineering programs aimed at meeting national needs, encourages education and research, and recognizes the superior achievements of engineers. Dr. Charles M. Vest is president of the National Academy of Engineering.


The Institute of Medicine was established in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences to secure the services of eminent members of appropriate professions in the examination of policy matters pertaining to the health of the public. The Institute acts under the responsibility given to the National Academy of Sciences by its congressional charter to be an adviser to the federal government and, upon its own initiative, to identify issues of medical care, research, and education. Dr. Harvey V. Fineberg is president of the Institute of Medicine.


The National Research Council was organized by the National Academy of Sciences in 1916 to associate the broad community of science and technology with the Academy’s purposes of furthering knowledge and advising the federal government. Functioning in accordance with general policies determined by the Academy, the Council has become the principal operating agency of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering in providing services to the government, the public, and the scientific and engineering communities. The Council is administered jointly by both Academies and the Institute of Medicine. Dr. Ralph J. Cicerone and Dr. Charles M. Vest are chair and vice chair, respectively, of the National Research Council.


www.national-academies.org

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2011. Threatening Communications and Behavior: Perspectives on the Pursuit of Public Figures. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/13091.
×

This page intentionally left blank.

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2011. Threatening Communications and Behavior: Perspectives on the Pursuit of Public Figures. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/13091.
×

BOARD ON BEHAVIORAL, COGNITIVE, AND SENSORY SCIENCES
JANUARY 2011

Philip Rubin (Chair),

Haskins Laboratories and Yale University

Lisa Feldman Barrett,

Department of Psychology, Northeastern University

Linda Bartoshuk,

College of Dentistry, University of Florida

Richard J. Bonnie,

Institute of Law, Psychiatry and Public Policy, University of Virginia

John Cacioppo,

Department of Psychology, University of Chicago

Susan Carey,

Department of Psychology, Harvard University

Susan T. Fiske,

Department of Psychology, Princeton University

Nina G. Jablonski,

Department of Anthropology, Pennsylvania State University

Patricia K. Kuhl,

Department of Speech and Hearing Sciences, University of Washington

Jonathan D. Moreno,

Departments of Medical Ethics and History and Sociology of Science, University of Pennsylvania

Richard Nisbett,

Department of Psychology, University of Michigan

Michael L. Posner,

Department of Psychology, University of Oregon (Emeritus)

Valerie F. Reyna,

Department of Human Development and Psychology, Cornell University

Richard M. Shiffrin,

Psychology Department, Indiana University

Brian Wandell,

Department of Psychology, Stanford University

Barbara A. Wanchisen, Director

Mary Ellen O’Connell, Deputy Director

Cherie Chauvin, Program Officer

Christie R. Jones, Program Associate

Renée L. Wilson Gaines, Senior Program Assistant

Matthew D. McDonough, Senior Program Assistant

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2011. Threatening Communications and Behavior: Perspectives on the Pursuit of Public Figures. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/13091.
×

This page intentionally left blank.

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2011. Threatening Communications and Behavior: Perspectives on the Pursuit of Public Figures. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/13091.
×

Acknowledgments

The Board on Behavioral, Cognitive, and Sensory Sciences (BBCSS) wishes to thank the National Science Foundation (NSF) for its generous support of BBCSS activities. Without NSF’s assistance, this publication would not have been possible. Early drafts of these papers were written to inform a federal agency research agenda, but they were subsequently substantially revised to more broadly review the literature on the correlation between communication-relevant factors and the likelihood that an individual who poses a threat will act on it. The factors considered are computerized text analysis, communication, and forensic psychology: together, they represent a synthesis of current knowledge that may provide ideas for potential new research directions.

Each paper has been reviewed in draft form by individuals chosen for their diverse perspectives and technical expertise, in accordance with procedures approved by the National Research Council’s Report Review Committee. The purpose of this independent review is to provide candid and critical comments that will assist the institution in making its publications as sound as possible and to ensure that the papers meet institutional standards for objectivity and evidence. The review comments and draft manuscript remain confidential to protect the integrity of the scientific process.

We thank the following individuals for their review of one or more of the papers in this volume: Nancy Cooke, Department of Applied Psychology, Arizona State University; Robert A. Fein, Department of Psychiatry, McLean Hospital, Harvard Medical School; Jeffrey T. Hancock,

Page viii Cite
Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2011. Threatening Communications and Behavior: Perspectives on the Pursuit of Public Figures. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/13091.
×

Department of Communication, Cornell University; Eduard Hovy, Information Sciences Institute, University of Southern California; Gary King, Department of Government, Harvard University; Tim Levine, Department of Communication, Michigan State University; Sharon Smith, Federal Bureau of Investigation (retired) and Forensic Psycholinguistics, LLC.

Although the reviewers listed above provided many constructive comments and suggestions, they were not asked to endorse the content of the papers, nor did they see the final draft before publication. The review of this collection of papers was overseen by Linda Waite of the Department of Sociology at the University of Chicago. Appointed by the National Research Council, she was responsible for making certain that an independent examination of the papers was carried out in accordance with institutional procedures and that all review comments were carefully considered. Responsibility for the final content of this publication rests entirely with the authors and the institution.

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2011. Threatening Communications and Behavior: Perspectives on the Pursuit of Public Figures. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/13091.
×

Contents

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2011. Threatening Communications and Behavior: Perspectives on the Pursuit of Public Figures. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/13091.
×

This page intentionally left blank.

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2011. Threatening Communications and Behavior: Perspectives on the Pursuit of Public Figures. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/13091.
×
PageR1
Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2011. Threatening Communications and Behavior: Perspectives on the Pursuit of Public Figures. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/13091.
×
PageR2
Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2011. Threatening Communications and Behavior: Perspectives on the Pursuit of Public Figures. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/13091.
×
PageR3
Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2011. Threatening Communications and Behavior: Perspectives on the Pursuit of Public Figures. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/13091.
×
PageR4
Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2011. Threatening Communications and Behavior: Perspectives on the Pursuit of Public Figures. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/13091.
×
PageR5
Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2011. Threatening Communications and Behavior: Perspectives on the Pursuit of Public Figures. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/13091.
×
PageR6
Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2011. Threatening Communications and Behavior: Perspectives on the Pursuit of Public Figures. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/13091.
×
PageR7
Page viii Cite
Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2011. Threatening Communications and Behavior: Perspectives on the Pursuit of Public Figures. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/13091.
×
PageR8
Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2011. Threatening Communications and Behavior: Perspectives on the Pursuit of Public Figures. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/13091.
×
PageR9
Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2011. Threatening Communications and Behavior: Perspectives on the Pursuit of Public Figures. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/13091.
×
PageR10
Next: Introduction--Philip E. Rubin and Barbara A. Wanchisen »
Threatening Communications and Behavior: Perspectives on the Pursuit of Public Figures Get This Book
×
Buy Paperback | $41.00 Buy Ebook | $32.99
MyNAP members save 10% online.
Login or Register to save!
Download Free PDF

Today's world of rapid social, technological, and behavioral change provides new opportunities for communications with few limitations of time and space. Through these communications, people leave behind an ever-growing collection of traces of their daily activities, including digital footprints provided by text, voice, and other modes of communication. Meanwhile, new techniques for aggregating and evaluating diverse and multimodal information sources are available to security services that must reliably identify communications indicating a high likelihood of future violence.

In the context of this changed and changing world of communications and behavior, the Board on Behavioral, Cognitive, and Sensory Sciences of the National Research Council presents this volume of three papers as one portion of the vast subject of threatening communications and behavior. The papers review the behavioral and social sciences research on the likelihood that someone who engages in abnormal and/or threatening communications will actually then try to do harm. The focus is on how the scientific knowledge can inform and advance future research on threat assessments, in part by considering the approaches and techniques used to analyze communications and behavior in the dynamic context of today's world.

The papers in the collection were written within the context of protecting high-profile public figures from potential attach or harm. The research, however, is broadly applicable to U.S. national security including potential applications for analysis of communications from leaders of hostile nations and public threats from terrorist groups. This work highlights the complex psychology of threatening communications and behavior, and it offers knowledge and perspectives from multiple domains that contribute to a deeper understanding of the value of communications in predicting and preventing violent behaviors.

  1. ×

    Welcome to OpenBook!

    You're looking at OpenBook, NAP.edu's online reading room since 1999. Based on feedback from you, our users, we've made some improvements that make it easier than ever to read thousands of publications on our website.

    Do you want to take a quick tour of the OpenBook's features?

    No Thanks Take a Tour »
  2. ×

    Show this book's table of contents, where you can jump to any chapter by name.

    « Back Next »
  3. ×

    ...or use these buttons to go back to the previous chapter or skip to the next one.

    « Back Next »
  4. ×

    Jump up to the previous page or down to the next one. Also, you can type in a page number and press Enter to go directly to that page in the book.

    « Back Next »
  5. ×

    Switch between the Original Pages, where you can read the report as it appeared in print, and Text Pages for the web version, where you can highlight and search the text.

    « Back Next »
  6. ×

    To search the entire text of this book, type in your search term here and press Enter.

    « Back Next »
  7. ×

    Share a link to this book page on your preferred social network or via email.

    « Back Next »
  8. ×

    View our suggested citation for this chapter.

    « Back Next »
  9. ×

    Ready to take your reading offline? Click here to buy this book in print or download it as a free PDF, if available.

    « Back Next »
Stay Connected!