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Psychological Approaches to Study of Conflict

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Expression of the Innate

This approach is built on the theories of human aggressiveness .There are many differences in the theme of human aggressiveness . Innate / Inborn aggression is aggression that you can’t avoid and is used to fight / to ensure the survival of humanity. According to the theorists : Lorenz , Freud , and Ardrey , ‘we do not learn aggression , it is an inborn mechanism to insure the survival of our species’. The theorist Freud referred to aggression as the , ‘death instinct’. In other words , aggression ensures the survival of humans.

Instincts also play a role in aggression , as humans instinctively protect themselves from anything that may threaten our survival. This instinctive response may lead to aggression .Some research shows that the hormone testosterone stimulates aggressiveness .For example , in some sports , athletes with high levels of the hormone will not be allowed to take part /play.

The levels of testosterone that are in young male youths account for the high levels of violent actions by youth. Another thing is that us humans would do anything to protect our relatives .The Genetic Seeds of Warfare(1989) states that , ‘ in their protection of their immediate kin , people are often suspicious of , and aggressive towards strangers’.

Conflict as a result of Misperception and Miscalculation

According to this approach , miscalculation , misperception , and poor communication are involved in the event of social conflict. An example of this is the Cuba Missile Crisis . This was when the United States and Soviet Union came close to nuclear war . Here , the individual ability to make decisions is not in control as the members tend to group think .

The groups that are involved in the conflict tend to have bad impressions about each other . The human drive blinds the individuals in the group from seeing the good things about the other group and seeing when they’re wrong themselves .What they see is only opposing images about the other group/ their opponent.

Social Conflict as a result of Frustration-Aggression theory

Frustration is an emotion that is evoked during a situation when one is blocked from reaching a desired goal/outcome .Aggression is behavior that is intended to harm others , e.g., murdering a person for money or their belongings. Aggression is not automatically caused by frustration , but frustration can be a trigger to aggression .

According to the Frustration – Aggression theory , aggression occurs when an individual is blocked by some kind of barrier from a desired goal . This approach was proposed by John Dollard , Neal Miller , Leornard Doob , Orval Mowrer , and Robert Seas in the year 1939 , and later elaborated by Neal Miller in 1941 and Leornard Berkowitz in 1969 .

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This theory seeks to describe why people scapegoat . Thee likelihood would be that , the person blocked will respond aggressively / attack the person who blocked them from the desired outcome. According to this theory , it’s the Frustration – Aggression principle that underpins the Marxist – theory of class.

This theory has been used & studied in many areas , including social psychology , clinical psychology , sociology , ethology , and medical research . This theory pays special attention on the social sciences , precisely psychology . This theory pays special attention on the social sciences , precisely psychology . In this theory , frustration is not seen as an emotional experience , it’s seen as the intervention with the goal response . In other words frustration is seen as an event and not as a state.

Examples of common connection between frustrating occurrences and aggressive responses include : a child who throws a tantrum because she can’t reach her favorite toy. As stated by Miller , aggression is one of the many possible outcomes of frustration . According to Pastore ( 1950) , ‘ the occurrence of the aggressive response (to the frustration) depends on the subject’s understanding of the situation .

According to this theory , when the individual expects the frustration , the likelihood of being aggressive reduced , depending on whether or not the person has experienced something similar to that case. In many cases , aggressive reactions are directed towards the cause of the frustration. .

Basic Human Needs Theory: ‘conscious agreements arrived at through processes of negotiation will carry on to break down if they continually frustrate Human Needs(Bradshaw ,G Conflict Management for South African Students : Theory and Application). From the Marxist perspective , conflict is inevitable and even becomes desirable when the social structures frustrates the needs of the masses/ working class .Thus it’s only the revolution by the poletariot that can result in the ultimate change in the societal structure . Only then can a classless could be realized.

Although this theory is one of the psychological approaches to the study of conflict , it has several non-psychological elements. According to Burton (1990) , ‘ social conflict is normally the result of frustrated human needs , as humans beings have no choice but to persue the fulfillment of their needs in the long term ‘.The people tend to respond violently when their basic needs are frustrated .

Davies (1988 :26) , who was a well known needs theorist presented 4 categories of needs namely :’Social affectional needs , self -actualization needs , self esteem , dignity or equality needs , and physical needs ‘.Humans first achieve the physical needs prior to the other needs . However , this is not always the case , as in the case of a person who is killed because of their religious beliefs because they abandoned their state of being safe.

There was conflict among the scholars as some of them said that an unspecified amount of the needs the others suggested were not primary human needs . Davies differentiated ,’ Substantive and Instrumental needs'(1988:26).

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Psychological Approaches to Study of Conflict. (2022, Jun 09). Edubirdie. Retrieved December 6, 2022, from https://edubirdie.com/examples/psychological-approaches-to-study-of-conflict/
“Psychological Approaches to Study of Conflict.” Edubirdie, 09 Jun. 2022, edubirdie.com/examples/psychological-approaches-to-study-of-conflict/
Psychological Approaches to Study of Conflict. [online]. Available at: <https://edubirdie.com/examples/psychological-approaches-to-study-of-conflict/> [Accessed 6 Dec. 2022].
Psychological Approaches to Study of Conflict [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2022 Jun 09 [cited 2022 Dec 6]. Available from: https://edubirdie.com/examples/psychological-approaches-to-study-of-conflict/
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