Hostility and Aggression

Hostility and Aggression

Hostility and Aggression

Hostility and Aggression

Excerpt

A cursory inspection of theory and research on aggression may well leave the impression that aggression is a well understood phenomenon. Treatises on the subject abound, and several seemingly all-encompassing theoretical models have been presented in recently published monographs. In addition, the sheer amount of research information that has been generated by many investigators in a variety of disciplines is truly overwhelming. In the face of these circumstances, it might be surmised that the topic of aggression has been exhausted in terms of theoretical accounting and empirical testing, and that little, if anything, is left to be investigated. Or to put it somewhat more conservatively: It may appear that at least all significant aspects of aggression have been dealt with in considerable detail and that any attempt to discover a hitherto neglected major domain of aggression--one that is in dire need of theoretical and empirical exploration--is doomed to failure. And accordingly, it may seem that writing a book on aggression could only be an exercise in redundancy.

Obviously, I have taken exception to this assessment. I felt that upon closer examination anybody would be convinced that, despite of the immensity of available research information, there remain many facets of aggression about which we know very little. Regardless of the presumed convictions of others, however, and granted that great progress has been made in recent theorizing and research, I felt that our understanding of aggression in animal life and especially in human affairs is quite rudimentary, and that there is ample fundamental and challenging work left, not only for myself, but for entire generations of investigators.

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