A Department of Homeland Security Center of Excellence led by the University of Maryland

A consortium of researchers dedicated to improving the understanding of the human causes and consequences of terrorism

Increasing Cognitive Complexity and Collaboration Across Communities: Being Muslim Being Scottish


Increasing Cognitive Complexity and Collaboration Across Communities: Being Muslim Being Scottish

Abstract: 

Being Muslim Being Scottish (BMBS) joins a family of IC interventions, Being Muslim Being British (BMBB) and Being Kenyan Being Muslim (BKBM). Like BMBB and BKBM, the newest family member, BMBS, is designed to increase cognitive complexity management by enabling participants to identify and access a wider range of their own values (value pluralism). Increased cognitive management capacities enable movement from rapid, inflexible, closed, black and white thinking that sees no validity in other viewpoints toward more deliberate, flexible, open thinking that can tolerate shades of grey, and see validity in other viewpoints without sacrificing one’s core values. Piloted in a large city in Scotland with a new model of participant involvement, participants represented both safeguarding practitioner and Muslim communities. Evaluated using the cross-culturally validated integrative complexity empirical measurement frame, statistical analyses showed significant gains in complex thinking about participants’ self-identified in and outgroups. These results predict more peaceful outcomes to intra- and inter-group conflict as participants recognize and access a wider range of responses choices in the face of difference and disagreement. Qualitative analyses found increased awareness of risks to radicalization, confidence to discuss controversial and sensitive topics, and communication among diverse communities for effective safeguarding. While these pilot results indicate that BMBS is effective at reducing violent extremism through increased integrative complexity management capacities and structured cross community-learning, further research is suggested.

Publication Information

Full Citation: 

Boyd-MacMillan, Eolene M. 2016. "Increasing Cognitive Complexity and Collaboration Across Communities: Being Muslim Being Scottish." Journal of Strategic Security 9 (October). http://scholarcommons.usf.edu/jss/vol9/iss4/6/

Publication URL: 
Visit Website

Additional Info

Regions: