Blog Posts / Psychology

John Horgan

“Nobody wants to hear that this is complicated.”


Against most all of his colleagues’ better judgement in grad school, John decided that he wanted to make a career of studying the psychology of terrorism. Then 9/11 happened…


John travels the world interviewing former terrorists to learn more about their motivations and psychology. Along the way, he’s learned that simply saying we’re good and they’re evil doesn’t really solve the problem.

There’s Always Hope

John Horgan studies terrorists and finds nuance and complexity where others see only evil.

The Dangers of Hanging Out with Terrorists

John Horgan interviews an IRA terrorist and wonders if he's made a huge (and perhaps dangerous) mistake in his life choices.

The Secret Life of Terrorists

John Horgan collects the stories of former terrorists and finds that their lives as terrorists were boring, stressful and anything but the glamorous mission they'd been promised.

About John Horgan

John Horgan is a Professor in the Global Studies Institute and Department of Psychology at Georgia State University. He has a PhD in applied psychology and his research focuses on understanding psychological qualities of the pathways into, through and out of terrorism. The goal of this research is to better understand why people become terrorists so that we can potentially prevent more people from becoming terrorists in the first place.