Human Aggression and Violence Essay

Posted: August 6th, 2013

Human Aggression and Violence Essay


It is often said that criminal behavior is connected to aggression in human beings. Eron defines aggression as “hitting and hurting, pushing and shoving, injuring and irritating” (qtd in Gottfredson & Hirschi, 2004). Human beings are naturally aggressive depending on the level of provocation, incentive or personal gratification. Aggression is characterized by verbal and physical assault on unsuspecting and unknowing victims. There are different types of aggression including annoyance-motivated like intense anger, incentive-motivated aggression that is aimed at receiving or attaining incentives, reactive aggression involving retaliation against threats and proactive aggression that involves behavior aimed at harassing others such as bullying (Baron & Richardson, 2004).


Criminal activities are linked to persons suffering from aggression. Aggression and criminal behavior share the same component of intentional harm therefore connecting terrorist activities to a type of aggression called “pragmatic aggression” (Antonius, 2010). The only existing difference between terrorism and aggression is that terrorists instill fear in their victims or targets. Violence for the sake of an objective is often referred to as instrumental aggression, hence the term used to describe terrorists claiming they are doing God’s deeds. Instrumental aggression also applies when addressing criminals in a group. Antonius attempts to explain that even with the rise in the new type of aggression; its causes are still unclear.



It is often perceived that criminal activities and aggression do not share any connection. The natural aggressive human nature plays a part in the immensity of the criminal behavior. Different types of aggressions give rise to different severities of criminals depending on the environments to which they are exposed. Victims of criminal activity are often apprehended without their knowledge, and this emphasizes the point that aggression levels between criminals and non-criminals are remarkably different. In school settings, students who tend to harass their counterparts are more likely to engage in violent crimes, in future. After careful deliberation of the connection that exists between the aggression and crime, it is clear that individuals who display violent aggressive behavior are more likely to develop into criminals.


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