What Causes Aggression Social Psychology?


Martha Robinson

Aggression is a complex behavior that is influenced by various factors such as biological, psychological, and social. In social psychology, aggression is defined as behavior that is intended to harm another person who is motivated to avoid the harm. This can take many forms such as physical violence, verbal abuse, or even passive-aggressive behavior.

There are several factors that contribute to aggression in social psychology, including:

1. Frustration

Frustration is one of the most common causes of aggression in social psychology. When we experience frustration, we often feel angry and want to lash out at someone or something. This can happen when we are prevented from achieving our goals or desires due to external factors beyond our control.

For example, if you’re stuck in traffic and running late for an important meeting or appointment, you may feel frustrated and become aggressive towards other drivers on the road.

2. Social Learning

Another factor that contributes to aggression in social psychology is social learning. This theory suggests that people learn aggressive behavior from observing others in their environment who demonstrate such behavior.

For example, children who grow up in households where parents use physical violence as a means of discipline are more likely to exhibit aggressive behavior themselves later on.

3. Deindividuation

Deindividuation occurs when people lose their sense of individual identity and become part of a group or crowd. This can lead to a reduction in inhibitions and an increase in impulsive and aggressive behavior.

For example, people may feel more comfortable engaging in aggressive behavior when they are within a group at a sporting event or concert where such behavior is encouraged or expected.

4. Provocation

Provocation refers to situations where one person intentionally tries to provoke another person into becoming aggressive. This can happen through verbal insults or physical threats.

For example, if someone insults you or threatens you physically, you may be more likely to respond with aggressive behavior in order to defend yourself.

5. Displaced Aggression

Displaced aggression occurs when a person is unable to express their aggression towards the source of their frustration or anger and instead redirects it towards a less powerful or innocent Target.

For example, if someone is angry at their boss but can’t express that anger directly, they may take out their frustration on a coworker who had nothing to do with the situation.


In conclusion, aggression is a complex behavior that is influenced by various factors in social psychology. Frustration, social learning, deindividuation, provocation, and displaced aggression are just some of the factors that can contribute to aggressive behavior. By understanding these factors and how they interact with each other, we can gain insight into why people behave aggressively and work towards preventing it from happening in the future.