PSY818 - Cults and Terrorism

Outline information
Schools offering this subject
Last revision date Nov 18, 2020 10:38:44 AM
Last review date Nov 18, 2020 10:38:44 AM

Subject Title
Cults and Terrorism

Subject Description
This course will focus on conformity issues surrounding religious fundamentalism, sects, cults, and terrorist groups. The reasons why people join, and why they may have a difficult time leaving will be examined. Society's contributions to supporting cultic groups will be explored. Strategies for protecting individual and vulnerable populations from cultic and terrorist activity will be developed.

Credit Status
One General Education elective credit in the Sciences and Social Sciences category for Seneca Diploma programs.

Learning Outcomes
Upon successful completion of this subject the student will be able to:

1. Examine the sacrifices and obligations required for membership status in cults and terrorist groups.
2. Discuss the psychological theories and learning theories behind terrorist groups and cults.
3. Explore the various present and future costs to society of these groups.
4. Examine the role of religion and politics in cults and terrorist groups, while looking at the specific groups.
5. Study the ways in which these cults and terrorist organizations recruit members.
6. Discuss,"mass hysteria", and "hypnosis", as related to these two groups.
7. Study the sacrifices and obligations required for membership status and how friends and family are affected.
8. Examine how individuals respond to reinforcers and punishment, and the reasons they become brainwashed.
9. Review the different rehabilitation means used to treat former cult members and the take of the legal system about cults.

Academic Integrity
Seneca upholds a learning community that values academic integrity, honesty, fairness, trust, respect, responsibility and courage. These values enhance Seneca's commitment to deliver high-quality education and teaching excellence, while supporting a positive learning environment. Ensure that you are aware of Seneca's Academic Integrity Policy which can be found at: Review section 2 of the policy for details regarding approaches to supporting integrity. Section 2.3 and Appendix B of the policy describe various sanctions that can be applied, if there is suspected academic misconduct (e.g., contract cheating, cheating, falsification, impersonation or plagiarism).

Please visit the Academic Integrity website to understand and learn more about how to prepare and submit work so that it supports academic integrity, and to avoid academic misconduct.

All students and employees have the right to study and work in an environment that is free from discrimination and/or harassment. Language or activities that defeat this objective violate the College Policy on Discrimination/Harassment and shall not be tolerated. Information and assistance are available from the Student Conduct Office at

Accommodation for Students with Disabilities
The College will provide reasonable accommodation to students with disabilities in order to promote academic success. If you require accommodation, contact the Counselling and Accessibility Services Office at ext. 22900 to initiate the process for documenting, assessing and implementing your individual accommodation needs.