Social psychological explanations: Frustration-aggression

  • Social psychologucal explanations: Frustration-aggression:
  • AO1:
  • Frustration always leeads to aggression, and aggression is always the result of frustration:
  • Dollard et al's hypothesis is based on the psychodynamic approach - aggression is a psychologiucal drive similar to biological drives (e.g. Hunger) and we experience frustration if our attempt to achieve a goal is blocked by an external factor. Frustration creates an aggressive drive leading to aggressive behaviour (violent fantasy, verbal outburst, physical violece).
  • Aggressive behaviour is cathartic:
  • Expression of the aggressive drive in behaviour is cathartic becaise the aggression created by the frustration is satisfied. This reduces the frive for making further aggression less likely - we feel better for getting it 'off our chest'. 
  • Aggression may be expressed indirectly:
  • bacuase the cause of frustration is: Abstract (the government), Too powerful and we risk punishment (a teacher who gave a low grade) or Unavailable (the teacher left before you saw the grade). So our aggression is displaced (deflected) onto an alternative - one that isnt abstract, is weaker and is available (an object, pet, younger sibling etc). 
  • The weapones effect shows that cues make aggression more likely:
  • Berkowitz and LePage found once students became frustrated in a lab task, they were more likely to give (fake) electric shocks when they could see a weapon next to them. Weapons effect shows that frustration only creates a readiness for aggression - and then aggressive cues in the environment make it more likely that aggression will happen (the finger pulls the trigger, but the trigger mayt also be pulling the finger). 
  • Key study: Geen, Frustration aggression:
  • Procedure: Male university students completed a jigsaw puzzle, during which level of frustration was manipulated in one of three ways:


No comments have yet been made

Similar Psychology resources:

See all Psychology resources »See all Aggression resources »