What are the personal and situational factors that can lead to aggression?

Essay by abcdefghijkUniversity, Bachelor'sB, October 2014

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In what was at the time named West Germany, there were 2467 cases of manslaughter or attempted murder in the one year of 1990. The rest of Europe had similar figures and the United States had an even higher number or cases (Mummendey, 1996). This begs the question as to why these events occur, and more specifically, what are the causes of this aggression? Therein lays the key to controlling and diminishing aggressive behaviour, in the identification of the factors that lead to aggression. This essay will illustrate the personal and situational factors of aggression and the theories that can be associated to them. Comment by Psychology Marker: A reference is needed to support this claim. Comment by Psychology Marker: Good to explicitly state aims of an essay like this near to the beginning.

Aggression is not easily defined as it consists of many facets. As a noun, aggression has the intent to harm.

As an adjective, aggression can describe an action made with persistence and intent according to Lloyd et al. (1984: cited in Gross, 1992). Aggressive behaviour is predominantly the object of study as it is easier to observe and thus measure, than the emotion behind the intent to behave aggressively. There are also different types of aggression. Hostile aggression is to cause harm for the sake of it, whilst instrumental aggression has a purpose, such as self-defence, as written by Buss (1961: cited in Gross, 1992). Comment by Psychology Marker: Good to define key terms near the beginning.

Different factors can lead to a person behaving aggressively. There are situational factors, which is the environment you are experiencing, and personal factors, which are collectively unique to each person. But knowing these factors are not enough, the links between the factors and the aggressive behaviour are...