Frustration-Aggression Theory

Topics: Aggression, Anger, Frustration Pages: 3 (888 words) Published: April 23, 2012

Frustration-Aggression Theory
The frustration aggression theory states that aggression is caused by frustration. When someone is prevented from reaching his target he becomes frustrated. This frustration can then turn into aggression when something triggers it. For example, if one fails in a final exam, he will definitely become frustrated. But what if someone he barely knows told him “You are such a loser not to pass that exam”. In this case, his stored frustration will surely turn into aggression. Note that the frustration aggression theory does not provide explanation to all types of aggression, but it rather focuses on aggression that results from not being able to reach your goals. Moreover, we are often unable to satisfy our desires or accomplish our goals. Sometimes our ambitions exceed our abilities, or we misperceive the possibilities. But sometimes we are blocked by an external barrier that precludes gratification. This may be a traffic jam preventing us from reaching an appointment, a college rule prohibiting us from taking a particular course, an amorous neighborhood tom cat interrupting our sleep, or our race restricting professional advancement. Whatever the barrier, we are frustrated. All of us are so frustrated from time to time. Of course, not all frustrations lead to anger. Indeed, it is more common to accept frustration, the blockage of our wants or goals, as feedback suggesting that we adjust or alter our aims. We do this automatically, hour by hour, day by day. Frustration signals the error in the trial-and-error process by which we dialectically adjust our perspectives to external powers and potentialities. To live, to assert one-self, is to be hindered, to face difficulties, to be opposed. Besides our desires and goals, our frustrations and anger,...

References: * R.J. Rummel (1977). Frustration, Deprivation, Aggression, and the Conflict Helix.
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