for excessive aggression
Where does anger come from? Biological causes aside,
another theory is the frustration-aggression relationship. Published
in 1939 by Yale University social scientists, this theory posits
that all aggressive acts can be traced back to a previous frustration.
Frustration has been defined as, "an external barrier that keeps
someone from attaining a goal or the pleasures he or she had expected
to enjoy," and "an internal emotional reaction that arises from
the thwarting." According to Leonard Berkowitz in his book, Aggression:
Itís Causes, Consequences and Controls, how strong the instigation
caused by the frustration is, is directly proportionate to the amount
of satisfaction they had expected and failed to receive. Further,
there is greater tendency towards aggressive acts the more satisfaction
the aggressor had expected, the more completely they're kept from
receiving it, and the more often attempts at receiving it are hindered.
For example, in a football game, each team tries
equally hard to attain their goal, winning the game, by making various
attempts at passes, touchdowns, and field goals. As one play runs
down the field catching a forward pass, he is tackled by a member
of the opposing team. Does he become aggressive and assault the
tackler? Under normal circumstances, no, heís barely even frustrated,
especially if it is early in the game. This is because the intensity
of aggression is proportionate to the expected satisfaction. Early
in the game when the goal of winning is relatively far off, the
amount of satisfaction weighing on one pass is relatively small,
and therefore so is the amount of frustration at being tackled.
More frustration might be apparent if the player had been attempting
a touchdown in the last minute that might win the game.
While the frustration-aggression relationship seems
to be a logical explanation for many social causes of aggression,
its original statement fails to take into account the differences
between emotional and instrumental types of aggression. Whereas
emotional aggression may be caused by frustration, instrumental
aggression is more conditioned. Aggressive acts are performed because
it has been seen that they pay off for others. Therefore, to clear
up ambiguity, formal statement of the theory has been narrowed to,
"a barrier to expected goal attainment generates an instigation
to emotional aggression."