Aggression-Discuss the Three Psychological Approaches

What is aggressiveness? Throughout my research, I even have saved in mind numerous definitions of aggression and have often found it to be mixed with violence. This human quality is so intricate that it’s tough to determine anyone description, but I believe that for the purpose of this essay, this incredibly loose time period should be sufficient, as hostility is seen in a different way in accordance with the various approaches. “Aggression – a variety of acts that involve attack” (The Penguin Dictionary of Psychology-Third Edition 2001).

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In this essay, I will clarify and assess three psychological methods of aggressiveness from Sigmund Freud, Burrhus F Skinner and Carl R Rogers.

Sigmund Freud (1856-1939) established the psychoanalytical theory of the personality, the place he divided it into layers; the unconscious, preconscious and the aware. These represented different levels of consciousness in our minds. He likewise described the persona as the id, which is principally what we’re born with and is where the elemental sexual and aggressive drives reside, the ego, which begins to develop as shortly as interaction with the setting begins, and the superego, which represents the ethical facet of human beings according to society’s standards and worths.

He believed that we are born with these inner sensations of aggressiveness, which we use as a software to obtain the essential issues we need, nonetheless sadly, society limits making use of this horrible behaviour for obvious factors.

The display of aggressive behaviour would cause us to lose love and respect ending in decreased self-confidence. In order to get through life without enforcing this unacceptable behaviour upon society, we’ve in our superego, included something known as ‘guilt’, which in turn makes us feel embarrassed of this pushy, demanding persistence of gratification facet of ourselves.

However, this triggers inside us an eternal battle that raves on by way of our everyday lives, in the unconscious stage of our minds, where we only dimly identify it.

He was nevertheless, concerned that these energies could not be completely ‘bottled up’ and suggested that redirection of these energies (catharsis) into other channels, work can be more socially acceptable. He referred to as this sublimation and instructed that a good society would make this attainable. Nevertheless, he remained pessimistic about this also because it only redirected the power of aggression and didn’t actually take care of the supply of the ‘problem’.

Freud (1920) called the harmful drive that varieties aggression, Thanatos -the dying intuition (Beyond the Pleasure Principle 1920) and believed that this is a pure human condition that is also geared toward ourselves. However, our pure life instincts forestall something taking place, however Freud thoroughly believed that the destruction of ourselves is inevitable, as aggression will at all times be at struggle with society and subsequently the best obstacle to peace.

Burrhus F Skinner (1904-1990) who favoured the behaviourist strategy to psychology, criticised the psychoanalytical concept by suggesting that psychology should be the examine of behaviour and never simply the mind. However, Skinner’s strategy was radical, in that he did contemplate our internal thoughts and emotions, however denied that they had anything to do with behaviour (Skinner 1974). His research of behaviour concerned shut contact with the experimental laboratory, the place he experimented with small animals such as rats and pigeons. As the experimenter, he was able to study the use of stimuli and reinforcement (cause and reward) of behaviour.

Skinner pointed out that aggression, like any other form of behaviour, is a result of social and physical points in our environments. With this in thoughts, he believed that human behaviour is due to this fact controllable. In Skinner’s view, if aggression is apparent in a person, then it’s determined by previous and current related events, along with genetic endowment, hereditary factors which are handed through our genes in the strategy of evolution. He argued that full data of those two sets of things, genetic endowment and personal history, maintain the vital thing to controlling behaviour similar to aggression.

The behaviourist approach fails to acknowledge particular person free will and selection nonetheless, and the frustrations involved within the lack of ability to express these. It is commonly these unobservable issues that cause behaviours, similar to aggression. When looking at positive reinforcement, Skinner typically refused to suppose about the mental causes of aggression ie if a drunk tries to begin out a struggle with you in a pub, Skinner’s principle would indicate that one of the best type of action from earlier experience can be to walk away. This nevertheless, ignores the occasions leading up so far, and you might resolve to remain and battle or possibly keep and make associates. The thoughts selects a response in accordance with the desired consequence, which is a pure a half of every operate we perform however is not a straightforward case of constructive reinforcement.

Carl R Rogers (1902-1987) was the founding father of the humanistic approach to behavior and like Maslow, he believed that there was nothing ‘bad’ about human behaviour and that we’re able to healthy development towards Self Actualisation. This signifies that we’ve the potential to achieve fulfilment and obtain warm relationships with others by way of acceptance and understanding of what we as humans are.

In order to understand the actualising tendency, Rogers claims that we should always firstly be congruent, which means that we should concentrate on our inner emotions and accept them as a half of our nature. In this respect, what we categorical from those emotions is pure and true. Secondly, we should be ready to empathise with our fellow man, in that we can perceive what every thing means to them from their viewpoint, as if we were in their ‘world’. Thirdly, we should be ready to convey unconditional positive regard, which means that we should be capable of accept things as they are and who our fellow man is, with out judgement or prejudice and with out placing situations upon their worth.

These are three important elements for healthy development in course of being a totally functioning particular person. Obviously, with an approach such as this, there may be little room for negative emotions corresponding to aggression. Because of this positive pressure for wholesome development, Rogers believed that aggression might possibly be a results of a state of incongruence, the place we could really feel conflict between our sense of self and our ideal self (like Freud’s ego and superego) ie. When we become conscious of our own set of values but are advised by our parents to respect their set of values, taught to us previously, and the use of conditional regard is utilized to enforce these values. This could possibly trigger aggression by means of retaliation. However, he wouldn’t see aggression as inevitable and even an acceptable response, solely as a possible response.

Rogers’ principle opposes Freud’s in that aggression is inevitable. However, these two approaches are comparable in that they both believe that aggression is a results of battle within the mind – Rogers’ sense of self and the perfect self are much like Freud’s ego and superego. However, Rogers argues that we’re not doomed as Freud views it. Rogers, who was optimistic about human nature, believed that quite than making an attempt to repress the wishes and desires that aggression demands, a self-actualised particular person would see that aggression is part of our nature and that acceptance of it, along with all other feelings, serve to help us develop healthily in the way of a totally functioning particular person. As a humanist, Rogers believed that to try to cover from what is inherently a half of us is futile and the one approach to make is that of acceptance so as to consider in ourselves. He also recognised that aggression might be a wholesome behaviour, as in competition.

Freud’s view that aggression is a common human attribute doesn’t represent proof that it is innate. His views on catharsis as being a method of controlling the drives additionally lack help, and indeed assist from considered one of his earlier disciples, Alfred Alder. With regard to aggression being innate and inherent, is aggression the results of genetics, or is it simply an excuse we use for violent behaviour? Could the reply lie in our environment and what we be taught from it? Experiments performed by behaviourists corresponding to Skinner have proved this, however do they provide all the answers? Is man born a completely blank slate? If that is the case, why will we keep messing up? Is this what Skinner meant when he maintained that man takes immediate gratification quite than trying on the long-term consequences?

The totally different approaches of Freud and Skinner provide interesting theories in regards to the sources of aggression. Take violence on the television as an example. Freud may have thought of this as a cathartic expertise thus lowering the drive of aggression by method of siphoning off the constructed up pressure as mentioned earlier. On the opposite hand nonetheless, Skinner would consider that violence on the television would serve to situation us to be more violent and due to this fact enhance aggression.

In conclusion, it seems that evidently every strategy holds some validity whilst there’s still room for additional research. Freud discussed aggression and its source at great size but didn’t actually offer any sound evidence about the method to reduce it. Neither did he encourage additional research into accumulating more information about it. Skinner, on the other hand, had somewhat sturdy opinions about how to deal with aggression but provided little data as to its source.

Rogers had little to say about what aggression truly is however whilst his opinions on how to cope with it appeared sensible and acceptable, his theory, like Freud’s, presents no actual proof. However, early as these theories have been, they did offer some valuable contributions to the speculation of aggression. Theories which have developed over the years and are continuing to do so, although the explanations for aggression, and indeed all other human emotions, nonetheless elude us, remaining continually beyond scientific rationalization.


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