September 11th's Self Perceived Benefits


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AP Psychology Review of Scholarly Article Instructions

September 11th’s Indirect Perceived Benefits

Rhonda Swickert et al. tried to see if there were any perceived benefits in people who were indirectly affected by the traumatic event of September 11th. This research emerges in a crowded field of 9/11 research, more than 1,000 psychology articles in the authors’ own admissions (574). In Response to the September 11, 2001, Terrorist Attacks: Experience of an Indirect Traumatic Event and Its Relationship with Perceived Benefits, the authors use a variety of tests to see how participants respond how they are feeling 2 weeks and 2 months after September 11th. They primarily used the Perceived Benefits Scales (PBS) to measure 8 types of perceived benefits people feel.

I do not remember September 11th that well since I was in 5th grade when those terrorist attacks happened. However I do remember that afterwards there was a lot of Patriotic feelings and flag waving. From what I remember people seemed to come together as a community after 9/11 and had increased connections with their families. The findings of the report confirm this. The report also found that these feelings decay over time. There was a 9% drop in total scale points 2 months after 9/11 rather than 2 weeks (573).

The authors also found that the perceived benefits were higher in people who reported the most trauma symptoms (573).

The authors’ goal in preparing this report was to do more research about 9/11. Other researchers have already proved that exposure to traumatic events can cause people to rekindle their sense of community. As stated before there are many psychology articles concerning 9/11. This report merely seems to link the two findings in a way which it seems that they would be connected. I also have the suspicion that this article was created from further mining survey data done immediately after 9/11. However, I feel that the authors did link the perceived benefits of indirect traumatic stress to September 11th.

I think that the article should have included copies of the tests administered to the subjects. I think the experimenters should also have asked the subject to describe benefits in an open ended area.

I do not think the article was biased, however it would be hard to say that the events of 9/11 were good or did not affect America. The authors do correctly point out how tragedy can bring people together.

As I was reading this I wondered what questions were asked of the subjects. I also was wondering what the results would be a year, 2 years, 5 years after 9/11. Would the decay continue?

The unique aspect of this paper was that it talked about the positive perceived effects of 9/11. As stated above, there has been a lot of research into 9/11. This attempts to provide a different look at data collected during that event.

It is scholarly article since it was written in a scholarly paper and cites a lot of sources. In addition, it would not have made a very good popular article.

The article cites 38 sources mostly from other scholarly papers.

Overall this paper merely linked existing research about the benefits of indirect traumatic stress with September 11th.

Works Cited

  • Swickert, Rhonda, James B. Hittner, Virginia de Roma, and Conway Saylor. "Response to the September 11, 2001, Terrorist Attacks: Experience of an Indirect Traumatic Event and Its Relationship with Perceived Benefits." Journal of Psychology. 140.6 (Nov 2006): 565-577.

AP Psychology Scholarly Paper Series