Sie sind auf Seite 1von 35



In psychology, the term aggression refers to a
range of behaviors that can result in both
physical and psychological harm to oneself,
other or objects in the environment. The
expression of aggression can occur in a
number of ways, including verbally, mentally
and physically.
1. Hostile aggression
A type of aggression meant to hurt another person. Hostile
aggression comes in three varieties: physical aggression,
verbal aggression, and relational aggression (Berk, 2007).
People who experience hostile aggression thrive on inflicting
harm on their victims (both mentally and physically). This form
of aggression, unlike instrumental aggression, is often aided
by intent and anger.
Physical Aggression-harms others through physical injury- pushing, hitting,
kicking, or punching others or destroying another's property (Berk, 2007).
Verbal Aggression-harms others through threats of physical aggression, name-
calling, or hostile teasing (Berk, 2007).
Relational Aggression-damages another's peer relationships through social
exclusion, malicious gossip, or friendship manipulation (Berk, 2007).
2. Instrumental Aggression
Instrumental aggression is the most common type of
aggression in which children want an object, privilege, or
space and, in trying to get, push, shout at, or otherwise
attack a person who is in the way (Berk, 2007).
Unlike hostile aggression, physical harm to others is not the
overall goal of instrumental aggression. Instead, it is a
means to achieve a specific goal, toy, or reward.

The role of biological factors
Aggression is inherited
1) Freuds Psychodynamic Perspective
We all possess an innate drive for sex and
aggression. They are inescapable.
Society functions to inhibit direct expression of
these urges, so we seek socially acceptable
means to express them
sex: creativity, the arts
aggression: sports, competition

2) Sociobiological Perspective: Lorenz
Aggression is innate, necessary and
Genes for aggression are passed along, whereas
genes for passivity are not.
Situational or environmental cues interact
with genetic predispositions:
Arousal caused by hormones, etc.
Reason of disagreement that
aggression is genetically
Social psychologists tend to disagree with the theories that
aggression is being inherited through genetics and are
The reasons for their disagreements are:
1. - Human aggression can take many forms
2. - The frequency of violence can vary across different nations
and cultures
3. - The theory make little sense in evolutionary terms.
The evolutionary perspectives of psychology in aggression
have somehow resulted in some changes in the belief.
Although most social psychologists still reject the claim that
human aggression is caused by inheritance biological factors,
many of them now acknowledge the possibility that human
aggression can be affected by biological or genetic factors.

Drive theories
Drive theories of aggression suggest that aggression stems
from external conditions that arouse the motive to harm or
injure others

(eg: frustration,
Drive to harm or
injure other
Overt reaction (for
The suggestion that frustration is a very
powerful determinant of aggression
The theory has been largely rejected as
frustration is only one of many different causes
of aggression
Based on social learning perspectives
People learn the nuances of aggression through direct experience or by
the behavior of others. Thus, depending on their past experiences and the
cultures in which they live, individuals learn:
1) various ways of seeking to harm others
2) which people or groups are appropriate targets for aggression
3) what actions justify retaliation
4) what actions are ones in which aggression is permitted or even

In short, the social learning perspectives suggests that whether a specific
will aggress in specific situation depends on many factors including the
past experience, the current rewards associated with past or present
and attitudes and values.
General Aggression Model (GAM), a modern theory of aggression
suggesting that aggression is triggered by a wide range of input
variables that influence arousal, affective stages and cognitions.

According to this theory, a chain of events that may ultimately lead to
overt aggression can be initiated by two major types of input variables:
i. Factors relating to the current situation (situational factors)
ii. Factors relating to the people involved (person factors)

Repeated exposure to aggression can facilitate the influence of these
variables and can stimulate people for aggression.

Input variables
Situational factors
Exposure to aggressive
Cues associated with
Causes of
discomfort/negative affect

Current internal state


Person factors
Negative affectivity
Beliefs about aggression
Proaggression values
Type A behavior pattern
Hostile attributional bias
Appraisal and decision
Thoughtful action
Impulsive action
(e.g. aggression)
The occurrence of aggression will depend on :
Appraisal individual interpretation of the current situation

Restraining factors the threatening factors of the
intended target or the presence of authoritative persons
Social causes
Cultural causes
Personal causes
Situational causes

1) Social causes of aggression
When frustrated, individuals do not always
respond with aggression.
They may show many different reactions(sadness,
despair or depression)
Not all aggression stems from frustration because
people aggress for many reasons and responds in
many different factors.
Frustration can lead to aggression when we are
under certain conditions (illegitimate of unjustified


Physical or verbal provocation from others is one
of the strongest causes of human aggression.
When we are receiving provocation from others
(criticism, sarcastic remarks or physical assault)
we tend to revenge as the same as what we got
or we may do something more terrible.
Expression of arrogance and disdain on the part
of others are the strongest provocations which
are leading to aggression, teasing also one of
the causes.
Research findings that the more individuals
attribute teasing hostile motives, the more likely
they are to respond aggressively.

Heightened Arousal

Arousal in one situation can increase
aggression in response to provocation or
frustration in unrelated situation.
Excitation transfer theory suggested that
arousal occurring in one situation can persist
and intensify emotional reactions in later,
unrelated situations.
The arousal produced by a near miss in traffic
can intensify feelings of annoyance stemming
from delays at an airport security gate.

Exposure to media violence

Research on exposure to violent televisions,
movies, video games, and music indicates that
such materials significantly increase the likelihood
of aggressive behavior by people exposed to them.
Such effects are both short term and long term in
The magnitude of these effects is large which is at
least as large as the various medical effects
considered to be important by physicians.
Children or adults exposed to violent films and
television programs have been found to show
more aggression than others exposed to
nonviolent films or programs.

Violent pornography

Pornography can increase the aggression
among men toward women.
This can lead to desensitize people to victims
of sexual violent.
Women tend to be rape because majority of
men involved in watching pornography and
they feel aggressive to try it.
Women always became the victims of rape.

Cultural factors
Cultures of honor- cultures in which there are strong norms
indicating that aggression is an appropriate response to insult
ones honour.
Cohen and Nisbett (1994,1997) suggest that they may be
traced to the fact that in some geographic areas, wealth
concentrated only on assets that could be stolen.
Eg: castle, slaves, etc
Individual demonstrated that thefts would not be tolerated by
engaging in violence.
Norms condoning violence in response to insults ones honor
emerged and were widely accepted.
For instance, white baseball pitchers are more likely to hit
batters in situations were their honor had been insulted after
another batter had hit a home run or one of their teammates
had been hit by a pitched ball.

Sexual jealousy

Occurs in every society in ones that great restrict informal contact between
men and women.
Is more likely to be avenged by acts of violence in culture of honor than in
other cultures.
In cultures of honor, such behavior by women is viewed as especially
threatening to mens honor and can result in drastic responses.
Usually, sexual jealously is related to aggression against ones unfaithful
Eg: in United States, 20 percent of all reported incidents of nonfatal violence
against women are perform by intimate partner.
Evolutionary perspective suggest that although sexual jealously present in
both men and women, it may have different foundations.
For men, they more focused on sexual infidelity while for women, it is often
focused on emotional infidelity (the withdrawal of emotional support by a
mate who is involved with another females).
In fact, the two genders overlap the respect to the factors that lead them to
experience sexual jealously.
Within these cultures, women who accept aggression as a response to
sexual jealously are viewed more positively than those who do not.
Situational factors
High temperature and aggression.
As temperature rise, assaults increase
meanwhile as temperature decrease, assaults
also decrease.
Eg: we tend to get angry easily when we are in
hot, steamy, and uncomfortable condition.
Alcohol consumption.

People who drunk behave more aggressively and
respond to provocation than other who did not
The decreases of cognitive functioning and
negative effect of on accurate social perception
are the effect of alcohol on aggression behavior.
- Alcohol make it harder to people to evaluate the
intentions of others and to consider the
consequences of acting aggressively.
- Appears to alter the type of inconsistencies to
which people pay attentions.
- Release the inhibitions of people who typically not

The theory describes Type A individual as ambitious, rigidly organized, highly status conscious, can be
sensitive, care for other people, are truthful, impatient, always try to help others, take on more than they can
handle, want other people to get to the point, proactive, and obsessed with time management. People with
Type A personalities are often high-achieving "workaholic" who multi-task, push themselves with deadlines,
and hate both delays and ambivalence. In his 1996 book, Type A Behaviour: Its Diagnosis and
Treatment, Friedman suggests that Type A behaviour is expressed in three major symptoms: free-floating
hostility, which can be triggered by even minor incidents, time urgency and impatience, which
causes irritation and exasperation usually described as being "short-fused"; and a competitive drive, which
causes stress and an achievement-driven mentality. The first of these symptoms is believed to be covert and
therefore less observable, while the other two are more overt. More likely than the type B behaviour pattern
to engage in hostile aggression, in which the main goal is to inflict harm on the victim (e.g., child or spousal
abuse). Equally likely as type B to engage in instrumental aggression, in which the main goal is ti attain
valued resources.

Siti would like to have a better job rather than being a secretary so she would do
anything to attract his employee and work hard for it untill she was label as a
workaholic among her co-worker.

Ali almost run on someone during driving his car because he does not want to be late
for his meeting eventhough he still have time about an hour before the meeting start.

Miss Suraya involve in the charity programme because she likes to help people.

Hostile attribution bias (HAB) has been defined as an
interpretive bias wherein individuals exhibit a tendency to
interpret others' ambiguous behaviours as hostile, rather than
benign .For example, if a child witnesses two other children
whispering and assumes they are talking about him/her, that
child makes an attribution of hostile intent, even though the
other childrens behaviour was potentially benign. Research
has indicated that there is an association between hostile
attribution bias and aggression, such that people who are more
likely to interpret someone else's behaviour as hostile are also
more likely to engage in aggressive behaviour.
While driving home one day, Tim sees a car swerving from one lane to
another. As Tim draws closer to the car, he decides to merge away. He
curses at the reckless driver and continues on his way home. What Tim did
not know is that inside the other car there was a woman in labor and the
other driver was swerving through traffic in order to arrive at the hospital as
quickly as possible. What just occurred is an example of a hostile attribution
bias. Just like Tim, many people would also make this same assumption and
would react in the same manner.
Robert A. Barron and Deborah R. Richardson (1994) define Hostile
Attribution bias as a tendency to perceive hostile intent on the part of others,
even when it is really lacking. Look back at the example where "Tim"
perceived that the other driver was intentionally driving recklessly and he
became hostile. Hostile attribution bias can lead to aggression by the
process of the reactive response to provocation theory.

How hostile attribution work
Hostile attribution bias leads to aggression by the
Cognitive Neo-association Model of aggression which
states that: frustration or aversive stimuli instigate
aggressive reactions by creating negative affects. The
interpretation of the persons affect by telling the person
to fight or flight. All will depend on how the person has
perceived the affect as negative (the person would flee)
or positive (the person is angry and looking for
confrontation) (Barron & Richardson 1994 29). In the
previous example about the driver; the stimuli was the
other driver, which evoke his aggression. His negative
affect was his malignant perception of the other driver.
Tims response was to flee (flight) because he decided
to merge away from the car. In the Dodge study it was
show that juveniles had a tendency to become angry but
did not act out there aggression to others (Dodge 1900).
Just because they did not act out the incident does not
meant that they didnt remain hostile.

Gender Differences
There is a vast amount of literature available on gender
differences. Maccoby and Jacklin (1974) was an important
comprehensive study on psychological differences. Contrary to
what Roberts (1984) said about this study, there have been
many advances since then in psychology to further refine the
research on psychological differences. Maccoby and Jacklin
(1974) pointed out two major gender differences; hostility and
empathy. With respect to hostility, there was overwhelming
evidence that men scored higher than women on most forms of
expression of aggression.
With respect to empathy, even though women scored higher on
this trait than men the evidence was not conclusive. Since then
studies by Antill (1983) and Wheeler et. al. (1983) provide very
strong evidence that women have greater capacity for
interpersonal relations and empathy than men.
First gender differences in aggression are much larger in the absence
of provocation than in its presence. In other words, males are
significantly more likely than males to aggress against others when they
have not been provoked in any manner ( Bettencourt & Miller, 1996). In
situations where provocation is present and especially when it is intense
such diffrences tend to disappear. Second, the size and even direction
of gender diffrences in aggression seems to vary greatly with the type of
aggression in question. Research findings indicate that men are more
likely than women to engage in various forms od direct aggression-
actions aimed directly at the target that clearly stem from the aggressor
( e.g., physical assaults, pushing, shouting).Third, females are more
likely than males are to use indirect forms of aggression ( gossiping,
spreading rumors).

Narcissism and ego-threat
Narcissism offers another approach to examining the possible
link between egotism and hostile aggression. If threatened
egotism is indeed the crucial cause of violence, then one may
predict that vulnerability to ego threats would be the feature
of selfregard most relevant to aggression. In particular,
inflated, grandiose, or unjustified favorable views of self
should be most prone to causing aggression, because they
will encounter the most threats and be chronically most
intolerant of them (Baumeister et al., 1996). These
conceptions of excessive selflove are relevant to narcissism,
a term coined by Freud in honor of the mythical Greek
character Narcissus, who fell in love with his own image
reflected in water. Although Kernberg (1975) insisted that "the
nature of normal and pathological narcissism can be
ascertained only by psychoanalytic exploration" (p. 327), trait
scales have been developed and have facilitated the
emergence of an empirically based understanding (Emmons,
1987; Raskin & Hall, 1979; Raskin & Terry, 1988).
Procedures in which aversive consequences are delivered to individuals
when they engage in specific action
Two beliefs regarding its implementation (e.g., Darley, Carlsmith, &
Robinson, 2000)
- belief that individuals who engage in acts of aggression viewed as
inappropriate in their societies deserve to be punished
- to deter them (or others) from engaging in such behaviour in the
Punishment can reduced aggression, but only if it meets 4 basic
requirements :
- prompt
- certain to occur
- strong
- perceived by recipients as justified or deserved

Opportunity to express aggressive impulses in save ways will reduce
tendencies to engage in more harmful forms of aggression
The catharsis hypothesis appears to mainly false
Engaging in vigorous activities may produce reductions in arousal, but
these are only temporary.
Reason why does letting it out fail to reduce aggression:
- anger may actually be increased when individuals think about wrongs
they have suffered at the hands of others and imagine ways of harming
this people.
- involved in aggressive may activate even more aggressive thoughts
and feelings
- even if catharsis did occur, the effects would probably be temporary;
whatever made the people involved angry might well occur again,
so any benefits would be short term at best

Giving up desire to punish someone who has caused harm, and
seeking, instead, to act in kind, helpful ways toward them.
It involved empathy, external attributions, avoiding rumination
(thinking to much about something-over thinking)

Apologies and good excuses can reduce anger and aggression
Perform acts that overcome cognitive deficits associated with anger
Engage in activities that distract attention away from causes of
anger and allow anger to lessen