Syrian Refugees in the Middle East and in Europe: On the Psychology of a Humanitarian Challenge

Syrian Refugees in the Middle East and in Europe: On the Psychology of a Humanitarian Challenge

January 12, 2021

11 AM -12:30PM EST 

 Virtual Event - Registration Link



This presentation is based on unprecedented empirical research into the psychology of Syrian refugees in the Middle East and in Europe, carried out by an international  team of researchers headed up by Professor Arie Kruglanski of the University of Maryland. The research supported by the MINERVA program at the US Department of Defense bears on questions such as refugees’ motivations, their state of mind and feelings as function of the welcome they receive in the host countries. The research looks at the interlocking views of refugees and local populations, how these are affected by cultural differences, and the conditions under which refugees are likely to integrate successful into host society as opposed to remaining an alienated minority. In light of the growing refugee problem worldwide (70 million displaced persons as of this writing)  that is threatening to worsen as function of international conflicts and climate change, this research offers a rare empirically based window into the refugees’ psyche and its implications for world societies.

Speaker Bios:

Arie W. Kruglanski is Distinguished University Professor of Psychology at the University of Maryland. He is recipient of the National Institute of Mental Health Research Scientist Award, the Donald Campbell Award for Outstanding Contributions to  Social Psychology, the University of Maryland Regents Award for Scholarship and Creativity and the Distinguished Scientific Contribution Award from the Society for Experimental Social Psychology. He was Fellow at the Center for Advanced Studies in the Behavioral Sciences, and is Fellow of the American Psychological Association and the American Psychological Society. He has served as editor of the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology: Attitudes and Social Cognition, and as editor of the Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, and as Associate Editor of the American Psychologist. He has also served as President of the Society for the Study of Motivation. His interests have been in the domains of human judgment and decision making, the motivation-cognition interface, group and intergroup processes, the psychology of human goals, and the social psychological aspects of terrorism. His work has been disseminated in over 370 articles, chapters and books and has been supported by grants from the National Science Foundation, the National Institute of Mental Health, Deutsche Forschungs Gemeineschaft, the Ford Foundation and the Israeli Academy of Science. He has been member of several NAS panels on the social and behavioral aspects of terrorism and presently serves as co-founder and senior investigator at the National Center for the Study of Terrorism and the Response to ‘Terrorism. He was the lead PI on a MINERVA grant from the Office of Naval Research leading a team of interdisciplinary investigators on the motivational social and ideological determinants of radicalization, and is presently the lead PI on a MINERVA grant on Syrian refugees potential for radicalization.


David Webber is an Assistant Professor in the L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs at Virginia Commonwealth University. Dr. Webber uses social psychological methods and theories to study the radicalization and deradicalization of violent extremists. He is the co-author of The Radical’s Journey: How German Neo-Nazis Voyaged to the Edge and Back (2019). He has published in respected academic journals, including the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Terrorism and Political Violence, American Psychologist, and Political Psychology. 








Erica Molinario is a Postdoctoral Research Associate at the University of Maryland, College Park. She received her Ph.D. in Social Psychology from the Sapienza, University of Rome (Italy) in 2015. Dr. Molinario main research interests focus on motivation, human goals, and groups and intergroups processes. More, specifically her work focuses on understanding psychological processes behind human behaviors such as pro-environmental behaviors, violent and benevolent extremism, and political attitudes and activism. At the University of Maryland, she is involved in several funded projects including the research on refugees residing in Middle East and Europe. and host communities’ attitudes toward refugees. 






Katarzyna Jasko is an associate professor at the Institute of Psychology, Jagiellonian University. Her research focuses on issues related to political engagement such as motivation to participate in collective action, political extremism and ideology, and political violence. 









Tuesday, January 12, 2021 - 11:00am to 12:30pm

Virtual Event: You must Register at to attend 


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