Psychological aspects of the Aum Shinrikyo affair

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1 Citation (Scopus)


Terrorism has become a highly important problem for humanity, and psychology tries to make its contribution to the study of this complex phenomenon. In the current work we analyze not a typical terrorist case, but an unusual one: the sarin attack which took place in Japan in 1995. The current study combines the cultural-historic approach of L.S. Vygotsky, and research on Japanese mentality and collectivistic psychology. The results show the importance of several key factors that led a religious sect to become a terrorist organization. In spite of the uniqueness of the Japanese psychology, in the Aum Shinrikyo case we can see some common aspects of terrorist motivation and behavior.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)34-39
Number of pages6
JournalPsychology in Russia: State of the Art
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Aum Shinrikyo
  • Conformity
  • Japan
  • Religion
  • Religious terrorism
  • Social behaviour
  • Terrorism in Japan

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)


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