Comparing crime types

a linguistic analysis of communiqués associated with the animal and earth liberation movement

Michael K. Logan, Margaret A Hall

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The content and style of language reveal significant insight into psychological, cognitive, and emotional processes. A growing number of studies have also been devoted to linking language to psychological and social processes underlying violent extremism. Building on this body of literature, the current study examines the type of language used in communiqués associated with the earth and animal liberation movement between 2013 and 2017. We pay specific attention to differences in communiqués associated with different criminal events including arson, animal liberation, sabotage, and vandalism. We also compare the communiqué data to a collection of lone-actor terrorist’s writings. The results suggest that communiqués linked to arson and animal liberation were highest on the indicators of affect and cognitive complexity compared to the other crime types. As a whole, the earth and animal liberation movement communiqués were similar to the lone-actor texts in negative emotions. Finding from this study support the influence of negative emotions, and anger in particular, in motivating and justifying violent extremism.

Fingerprint

liberation movement
Crime
Linguistics
Firesetting Behavior
animal
offense
linguistics
Language
radicalism
liberation
Emotions
emotion
language
Psychology
sabotage
vandalism
Anger
social process
anger
event

Keywords

  • arson
  • communiqués
  • Earth and animal liberation movement
  • LIWC
  • text analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Cultural Studies
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Political Science and International Relations
  • Law

Cite this

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title = "Comparing crime types: a linguistic analysis of communiqu{\'e}s associated with the animal and earth liberation movement",
abstract = "The content and style of language reveal significant insight into psychological, cognitive, and emotional processes. A growing number of studies have also been devoted to linking language to psychological and social processes underlying violent extremism. Building on this body of literature, the current study examines the type of language used in communiqu{\'e}s associated with the earth and animal liberation movement between 2013 and 2017. We pay specific attention to differences in communiqu{\'e}s associated with different criminal events including arson, animal liberation, sabotage, and vandalism. We also compare the communiqu{\'e} data to a collection of lone-actor terrorist’s writings. The results suggest that communiqu{\'e}s linked to arson and animal liberation were highest on the indicators of affect and cognitive complexity compared to the other crime types. As a whole, the earth and animal liberation movement communiqu{\'e}s were similar to the lone-actor texts in negative emotions. Finding from this study support the influence of negative emotions, and anger in particular, in motivating and justifying violent extremism.",
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author = "Logan, {Michael K.} and Hall, {Margaret A}",
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