Frustration-Aggression hypothesis

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  • Frustration-Aggression Hypothesis
    • It predicts a cause-effect relationship between frustration, aggression + catharsis
    • Brown et al. ('01) surveyed British holidaymakers
      • Travellers couldn't travel by ferry to France because French fishing boats blocked Calais port
        • Increase in hostile attitudes toward the French because of  frustration
    • Contextual factors play a role in inhibiting aggressive behaviour in some situations, e.g. threat of punishment
    • Dollard et al 1939
      • His theory suggests that aggression is the response of being frustrated
      • Frustration is caused when people cannot get what they want
    • Frustration increases when
      • Our motivation is very strong
      • We expect gratification
      • There is nothing we can do
    • Doob & Sears ('39) – P's asked to imagine how they feel in situations in which they may feel frustrated
      • e.g. a bus going by without stopping.
        • Results: Most participants would feel angry in all of the frustrating situations.
    • Pastore (1952) – distinguished between justified and unjustified frustration. . 
      • Used different versions to Doob and Sears, involving both types of frustration (unjustified and justified)
        • E.g. A bus that would not stop, and a bus which indicated an ‘out of service' message.
          • Results: P's showed lower anger levels when displaying the ‘out of service’ message  compared to the bus not stopping
    • Evaluation
      • Not automatic - Bandura said that aggr is one outcome of frustration + it depends on SLT
      • Not all aggr from frust - other events include: pain, temp + noxious stimuli
      • Application - mass killings sometimes stem from frust from social + economic difficulties in society
      • Application - A 1 position drop in Football can lead to a 5% increase in objects thrown
      • Research lack - catharsis hasn't been supported by research + some research contradicts Dollard


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