Aggression and violence are amongst the numerous issues our society is facing. Both of these terms are related and yet different from each other. Violence refers to behaviour which is forceful towards someone or something and may cause harm. Aggression refers to the behaviour towards someone or something which is intended to cause harm. The key difference between the two terms lies in the intent in which an act is done.
Aggression therefore is a more serious problem. It ranges from small actions like using harsh words, unnecessary criticism, having hostile feelings etc. to larger and more concerning actions like ragging, bullying, child abuse, murder etc. In some cases the act of aggression may be done to obtain something while in some other cases the aggressor does not wish to obtain anything from the victim. The former case is termed as instrumental aggression while the later is called hostile aggression.
There are several causes of aggressive behaviours. Some psychologists argue that aggression is an inborn tendency in humans just like it is in animals. It is a sort of defence mechanism. It gets triggered by physiological mechanisms. There are several factors that cause this arousal.
Childhood experiences also shape the tendency of aggression in individuals. It has been observed that those children who were brought up in a hostile environment like parents using physical punishment often tend to grow as aggressive individuals. It is not very clear why this happens though. Some say that children imitate their parents behaviours, others say that it is the anger and resentment they bottle up during childhood which comes out in the form of aggression.
Aggression is often caused by frustration. Frustration is marked by a sense of helplessness when we’re unable to achieve something. Aggression is in fact an expression of frustration. People in frustrated situations often show more aggression than others. This sort of aggression is often projected towards a weaker person who is less likely to retaliate. An example of this is bullying. However, it is not necessary that frustrated person is always aggressive. It largely depends on a person’s personality. Some people are inherently short tempered and show more aggression than others.
People mostly learn aggression by observing others displaying it. Some researchers say that exposing children to aggression shown on television or media causes them to learn aggressive behaviours. Sometimes people show aggression when unnecessarily provoked.
Aggression serves as a root cause for various social issues out there and therefore it needs to be curbed down. The most important step in ding so is preventing children to learn aggression. Aggressive behaviour of any form should be unappreciated amongst children. Using punishment as a tool for discipline should not be done. Portraying aggression as a heroic behaviour must be stopped as it make children model that behaviour. Television and media should be regulated for children. Another way is to reduce frustration. Having equality and justice is a key in doing so. Encouraging people to talk about their problems of frustration can significantly reduce the occurrence of aggression. Lastly, having a positive attitude toward peace and non violence should be taught to children.