Frustration Aggression Theory

Life is meant to be a song of joy but in the modern world of stress and strain, competitiveness and the race of being good, better and best, man has become a victim of frustration leading to aggression.

Before knowing about the theory of frustration and aggression I would like to define the words frustration and aggression although we keep on hearing the terms frustration and aggression most of the time.

Aggression is defined as behavior aimed at causing harm or pain, psychological harm, or personal injury or physical distraction. An important aspect of aggressive behavior is the intention behind the personís behavior. Aggression can be direct or indirect, active or passive, and physical or verbal.

Let us also understand that not all harmful behaviors are considered as aggression. For example, a doctor who makes an injection which seems that it harms people, but he did so with an intention of preventing the further spread of illness. Here it is not considered to have committed an aggressive act.

Whenever we reach a goal, we feel happy, we feel in sync with the song of life. But whenever we are hindered from reaching our goals we may feel annoyed and irritable. It is frustration that creeps in our behavior as a monster.

Frustration has two meanings. One is the feeling of disappointment that some people get when they cannot have what they want. The second meaning is the obstruction of someone's plans or efforts. Frustration negates happiness. It is an emotion that can spiral downward leading to generation of negativity and depression.

Dollard and Berkowitz had great ideas and have definitely given the world of psychology another meaning to why aggression occurs in our societies.

In various studies it was clear that when subjects were provoked and frustrated, and then told to consider about it, the end result was increased aggressiveness.

Freud's psychoanalytic theory demonstrates the idea that aggression is an ingrained personality characteristic common to all humans and that behavior is motivated by sexual drives.

Freud stated that in individuals where the childhood conflicts have been successfully resolved, all aggression has been removed by adulthood in the graph of development.

Later, Freud added the concept of Thanatos, or death force to his Eros theory of human behavior. Freud claimed that the displacement of negative energy of the Thanatos onto others is the basis of aggression.

The most well known drive theory of aggression is the frustration-aggression hypothesis proposed by a group of researchers at Yale led by John Dollard.

In this theory, frustration and aggression are linked in a cause and effect relationship. Frustration is the cause of aggression and aggression is the result of frustration.

Dollardís and Berkowitzís early contributions indicate that frustration leads to aggression, we see that mediating factors prove more important when associating frustration with aggression.

The frustration-aggression theory has therefore been modified to include other instigating factors of aggression including tension.
There is still vast research being conducted in the area of chemical and genetic field in respect to aggression management.

The biological theorists recognize that aggression is native or say natural. The biological theories of aggression have much to offer about the physical and neurobiological causes of aggressive acts.

Finally, one of the most radical approaches to aggression is the social learning theory. In this hypothesis, aggression is initially learned from social behavior and it is maintained by other conditions unlike the other models it does not relate aggression to an internal mechanism.
In order to analyze aggression and understand it fully, it is necessary to include the ideas of sexual energy, biological factors, frustration, and social influences.

One must look at the entire context of a situation to fully understand the root cause behind any aggressive behavior. Frustration-Aggression hypothesis is an effort to explain the phenomenon of violence and aggression in our world.

We must understand that there's nothing we can do about it. It's the nature of life. For example, the same snow that covers the ski slopes may make the roads impassable. So, our skiing trip may be frustrated, but we don't have to be. We can just shrug our shoulders and say, "That's life." Accepting life is one of the secrets of avoiding frustration. Live and let others live peacefully.

In today's violent world we must regard aggression as a summated response to many factors. Individually, the factors probably are harmless, but when linked, they can be let loose as aggression.

Posted on Oct 9, 2013 with Views.

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