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Study: Economic concerns to trigger anti-Semitism in US, Germany
New research behavior tool that predicts 'feeling trends' concerning economy reveals developing wave of potentially violent anti-Semitism in US, Germany
A new behavior-research tool, Affective Encryption Analysis, has uncovered a dramatic trend in both the US and Germany—a developing wave of potentially violent anti-Semitism.

 

Affective Encryption Analysis, which was recently used to predict the outcome of the 2008 US Presidential election, uses naturalistic research methods to measure the way in which “feeling-trends” develop over time. It then forecasts the likely behavioral outcomes.

 

Using Affective Encryption Analysis, media psychologist, Dr. James N. Herndon, of Media Psychology Affiliates, led an investigation to predict long-term “feeling-trends” concerning the economy.

 

Population samples in both the US and Germany were chosen as indicators of both US and European feelings toward economic conditions.

 

“Our results showed far greater feelings of dread about the economic future than we currently find in mainstream survey research,” stated Dr. Herndon. “In fact, almost 70 percent of our sample expressed a precipitously declining sense of economic stability. This was especially strong among the lower-middle-class,” he added.

 

'Scapegoating Israel'

 

“What we did not expect was a widespread association of economic problems with support for Israel. This belief appears to be growing exponentially in both the US and in Germany,” he said.

 

“We currently have worryingly low rates of savings and capital investment, combined with systemic unemployment and an ever-increasing spiral of debt and inflation,” said Dr. Herndon.

 

“If current trends are left unchecked, we believe that by late 2007, a feeling of economic desperation will begin to overtake large sectors of the lower-middle-class in the US, as well as the welfare-dependent classes in Germany,” he warned.

 

“Our results strongly suggest that this will provide the emotional trigger for the scapegoating of Jews, toward whom feelings in our sample were unexpectedly negative, and often violent.”

 

“The bottom line is that increasing numbers of persons at the economic margins believe that their economic interests are being ignored in favor of a foreign power, namely, Israel. Feelings about Jews and Israel are also associated with strife and insecurity, not peace and prosperity,” he explained.

 

Expecting violent reaction

 

A surprising forecast was that anti-Semitic behavior will predominate among nominally Christian, and not Muslim, groups.

 

“Unlike more ideologically-oriented Muslim groups, post-World War Two westerners in the so-called first-world are more driven by economic comfort and security. When their economic underpinnings are jeopardized, we can expect a violent reaction. And violence is rarely rational.”

 

“We believe that unrest will begin in the US Southwest. And in Germany, in areas of former East Germany. As with most emotionally-driven mob behavior, it will spread. Containing it will be difficult.”

 

Dr. Herndon emphasized the need to be proactive.

 

“Media exists to manage feelings. Our results strongly suggest that Jewish and Israeli organizations, in particular, are in the process
of rapidly losing control of their PR initiatives. Opinion leaders in both the US and Europe must not stand-by passively as these trends develop.”

 

“I would characterize the anecdotal results of our research as frankly horrifying. A new strategy to diffuse these growing perceptions is clearly in order. This is one time where we cannot afford for history to repeat itself,” he concluded.

 

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