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What Is The Main Cause Of Aggressive Behavior?

What Is The Main Cause Of Aggressive Behavior?

This article looks at: What is the main cause of aggressive behaviour? If you want to better understand how aggressive behaviour develops, we look at the factors that can cause aggression.

Understanding the factors behind the cause of aggressive behavior

Behavior is a complex phenomenon, and aggression is no exception. Understanding why aggressive behavior occurs requires an examination of multiple factors that contribute to its development.

What is the main cause of aggressive behaviour?
What is the main cause of aggressive behaviour?

Whether it is a verbally aggressive outburst or physical aggression, the cause of this behavior is often multilayered.

We’ve all lost it at some point in life, and the causes of such behaviors can vary. Understanding the factors behind aggressive behavior is essential to develop effective interventions.

What is aggressive behavior?

According to social psychology, aggression is any behavior intended to harm another individual or group of individuals.

It can take the form of verbal or physical aggression or even passive aggression. Understanding the factors behind aggressive behavior is important for developing effective interventions.

Examples of aggressive behaviors:

  • Physical violence against another person
  • Verbal abuse or intimidation
  • Threats of physical violence
  • Bullying, including cyberbullying
  • Name-calling or insults
  • Destruction of property
  • Intimidation or harassment
  • Creating a hostile working environment

Many times the terms aggression and violence are used as the same thing. However, they are two different things. Aggression is the behavior that someone intends to, whereas violence can be intentional or unintentional.

Signs of Aggression

Since aggressive behavior is intended to harm a person who doesn’t want to be harmed, it’s important to look for signs of aggression. These can include:

  • Aggressive body languages, such as clenched fists or raised voices
  • Verbal expressions of anger, such as yelling or cursing
  • Physical violence, such as hitting or throwing objects
  • Intimidation tactics, such as threats of harm
  • Hostile facial expressions, such as scowling or glaring

Types of Aggression

There are two main types of aggression, namely instrumental aggression and impulsive aggression. Both of these are shown by individuals or groups; however, the way they are expressed is quite different.

Instrumental aggression is when someone uses violence as a means to achieve a certain goal, such as stealing or intimidating someone. This type of aggression is usually more planned and can be used to gain power or control.

Impulsive aggression is when someone acts impulsively without thought of the consequences. They are likely to lash out in anger with little or no provocation.

Reactive aggressive behavior:

These are unplanned actions in response to an event or provocation. It is usually a display of anger, frustration, or disappointment and can include verbal aggression, insults, and physical violence.

The science behind this is: When an emotion triggers an aggressive reaction, it causes changes in the brain.

This includes increased activity in the amygdala (involved in fear and aggression), decreased activity in the prefrontal cortex (involved in decision-making and impulse control), and increased activity in the hippocampus (involved in memory formation).

Understanding these changes can help us to better understand why people behave aggressively.

The term “road rage” is a perfect example of reactive aggression. It occurs when someone is frustrated by another driver or event and lashes out in anger, often with violent results.

Proactive Aggressive behavior:

This is a calculated plan of action that someone might use to hurt or threaten another person or group.

It could involve planned physical violence, verbal abuse, or even stalking and cyberbullying. Understanding the motives of this type of aggression can help us to prevent it from occurring.

A good example is harming someone during a robbery or burglary. Understanding why someone would commit such an act can help us to create strategies for prevention and intervention.

Precipitating Factors Behind Aggressive Behavior

The causes that are behind the aggressive behavior include;

  • Stress, Fear, Anxiety
  • Pain
  • Impaired cognitive ability
  • Frustration
  • Attitudes and behaviors of others
  • Traumatic Experiences
  • Lack of dignity and not feeling respected
  • Lack of empathy
  • Unmet needs
  • Substance abuse
  • Lack of problem-solving skills
  • Stimulus

Causes of Aggressive Behavior

The causes of aggressive behavior don’t just occur in a vacuum. Understanding the factors behind aggressive behavior can help us to develop strategies for prevention and intervention. In our daily lives, we may find aggressive behaviors begin surfacing when;

  • A colleague who was up all night because of her sick child and then gets coursed at work will react aggressively
  • A student who is constantly ridiculed by the teacher will lash out in anger
  • Someone facing financial hardship may become verbally and emotionally aggressive to those around them
  • A victim of bullying may become physically aggressive towards their bully
  • A mother who has lost a husband and is moved to a room where she can’t sleep at night may show aggression to those around her
  • A person with a mental health disorder, such as schizophrenia, might react aggressively if they don’t take their medication

Are you ready to take control of aggressive behavior

It is important to understand the various causes and factors behind aggressive behavior in order to develop effective strategies for prevention and intervention.

Understanding the science behind aggression can help us to better understand why individuals behave aggressively and how best to manage it. Understanding the precipitating factors can also help us to create strategies for prevention and intervention.

As individuals, it is important to be aware of our own triggers and to seek out help if we feel that we are becoming too aggressive. Understanding the causes behind aggressive behavior can help us to better manage it and prevent it from happening.


We hope this article was able to answer your questions about: What is the main cause of aggressive behaviour?

If you want to discover more information about managing aggressive behaviour, follow the link to our other pages on this topic.