Date of Conferral
Radical animal rights and environmental activism is considered domestic terrorism under the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act. Traditional models of terrorism purport that there is a path to radicalization that is influenced by an individual's sense of identity and ideological beliefs. Using collective identity theory and cognitive experiential self-theory as the framework, the purpose of this quantitative study was to examine whether social identity, cognitive processing mode, and ideological beliefs were predictors for engagement in radical animal rights and environmental activism. The Three Factor Model of Social Identity Scale, the Rational Experiential Inventory, and the Activism Orientation Scale were used to collect data from a sample of 65 self-described radical animal rights and environmental activists. Standard multiple regression analyses were used to test each hypothesis. According to the results of the study, only rational processing mode, F(6, 64) = 3.18, (p < .05 ), was a predictor of likeliness to engage in radical animals rights and environmental activism. Although ideology was not a significant predictor, exploratory analysis showed that ecofeminism demonstrated predictive value, F(2, 64) = 6.12, (p < .05). This study contributes to positive social change by expanding the understanding of the profile of radical activists, which may aid those who support radical actions and those who oppose such actions in opening a meaningful dialogue whereby solutions to issues facing the environment and animals can be addressed with successful outcomes.