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The Relationship between Self-Esteem and Aggression - Dissertation Example

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The characteristics of self esteem have traditionally between associated with externalizing factors like aggression in different terms. The controversy centring the issue concerning low or high self-esteem influencing aggression have been addressed through several studies undertaken on samples from different sets of population. …
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The Relationship between Self-Esteem and Aggression
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Download file to see previous pages The following review of literatures will identify the findings of twelve research articles along with their originality in terms of research on the area chosen.
A study by Baumeister, Bushman and Campbell (2000) bring in the importance of threatened egotism to explain the relation between aggression and self regard. The contemporary works of the authors did not confirm the association between low self-esteem and aggression which was established theoretically by traditional views. In fact the new concepts of narcissism and unstable self-esteem can foresee aggression more efficiently. The article explores the research domain with the help of different literatures, some of which explain why people with low self-esteem were less liable to cause aggression. Normally such people will try to avoid risk and hence would not take the risk of being aggressive towards others. In fact people with fluctuating self-esteem or manic depression are more likely to be aggressive and display violence during the manic phase when the person has high views about himself compared to the phase of depression when self-esteem is at its low. This also explains the aggressive orientation caused by alcoholic people during the phase of intoxication when the self-esteem momentarily heightens. The second part of the discussion presented in the research now moves on to explore the newer constructs in order to defend the low self-esteem hypothesis regarding aggression. Studies showed that narcissism or unstable self-esteem was more responsible for violence and aggression than low self-esteem. After studying different literatures the authors have inferred that hidden low self-esteem demonstrating self doubts might bring on aggression rather than obvious low self-esteem. In fact high self-esteem is a characteristic of both aggressive and no aggressive people. Again narcissistic people are aggressive towards specific individuals who insult or criticize them rather than being aggressive socially. The original angle in the research lies in the fact that this study explored the new constructs like threatened egotism or hidden low self-esteem rather than trying to establish he simple and direct link between self-esteem and aggression explored till then. Anderson and Bushman (2002) studied the different theories on aggression showed by human beings and the original angle of the research lies in the use of general aggression model (GAM) to incorporate different variables which reflect cognition effect, apart from situational and personological parameters. The use of this model also helps this study to identify the required research which can fill in the gaps in theoretical frameworks and this can help in testing the interventions in bringing down aggression. The study begins with definitions of aggression and related terms and then discusses the particular theories of aggressive behaviour before embarking on the General Aggression Model. The model considers three categories of inputs – person factors (values, goals, beliefs) and circumstances (drugs, pain, frustration etc) related inputs, cognitive (hostile thoughts, scripts etc), affective (mood and emotion etc) and arousal paths along which the inputs have their final impact and lastly, the results of the implied process of appraisal and decision making. Certain means of interventions are also suggested with the help of this model and these include multisystemic therapy like family oriented methods etc, prison treatments etc and the model also predicts that with age and experience aggression might decrease. The literatures studied in the research also show the relation between high self-esteem and a ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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