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Hostility is seen as form of emotionally charged
aggressive Aggression is overt or covert, often harmful, social interaction with the intention of inflicting damage or other harm upon another individual. It may occur either reactively or without provocation. In humans, aggression can be caused by various ...
behavior. In everyday speech it is more commonly used as a
synonym A synonym is a word, morpheme A morpheme is the smallest meaningful lexical item in a language. A morpheme is not a word. The difference between a morpheme and a word is that a morpheme bound and free morphemes, sometimes does not stand alone ...
for
anger Anger, also known as wrath or rage, is an intense emotion Emotions are psychological state A mental state is a state of mind that an agent is in. Most simplistically, a mental state is a mental condition. It is a relation that connects ...

anger
and
aggression Aggression is overt or covert, often harmful, social interaction with the intention of inflicting damage or other harm upon another individual. It may occur either reactively or without provocation. In humans, aggression can be caused by various ...
. It appears in several psychological theories. For instance it is a
facet Facets () are flat faces on geometric shapes. The organization of naturally occurring facets was key to early developments in crystallography Crystallography is the experimental science of determining the arrangement of atoms in crystalline so ...
of
neuroticism In the study of psychology Psychology is the science of mind and behavior. Psychology includes the study of consciousness, conscious and Unconscious mind, unconscious phenomena, as well as feeling and thought. It is an academic discipline o ...
in the NEO PI, and forms part of personal construct psychology, developed by George Kelly.


Hostility/hospitality

For hunter gatherers, every stranger from outside the small tribal group was a potential source of hostility. Similarly, in archaic Greece, every community was in a state of hostility, latent or overt, with every other community - something only gradually tempered by the rights and duties of hospitality. Tensions between the two poles of hostility and hospitality remain a potent force in the 21st century world.


Us/them

Robert Sapolsky Robert Morris Sapolsky (born April 6, 1957) is an American neuroendocrinology Neuroendocrinology is the branch of biology Biology is the natural science that studies life and living organisms, including their anatomy, physical structure, B ...

Robert Sapolsky
argues that the tendency to form in-groups and out-groups of Us and Them, and to direct hostility at the latter, is inherent in humans. He also explores the possibility raised by
Samuel BowlesSamuel Bowles may refer to: *Samuel Bowles (journalist) (1826–1878), American journalist *Samuel Bowles (economist) (born 1939), American economist {{DEFAULTSORT:Bowles, Samuel ...
that intra-group hostility is reduced when greater hostility is directed at Thems, something exploited by insecure leaders when they mobilise external conflicts so as to reduce in-group hostility towards themselves.


Non-verbal indicators

Automatic mental functioning suggests that among universal human indicators of hostility are the grinding or gnashing of teeth, the clenching and shaking of fists, and grimacing.
Desmond Morris Desmond John Morris FLS ''hon. caus.'' (born 24 January 1928) is an English zoologist Zoology ()The pronunciation of zoology as is usually regarded as nonstandard, though it is not uncommon. is the branch of biology that studies the Animal ...
would add stamping and thumping. The
Haka Haka (; plural ''haka'', in both Māori language, Māori and English language, English) is a ceremonial dance in Māori culture. It is often performed by a group, with vigorous movements and stamping of the feet with rhythmically shouted or chan ...

Haka
represents a ritualised set of such non-verbal signs of hostility.


Kelly's model

In psychological terms, George Kelly considered hostility as the attempt to extort validating evidence from the environment to confirm types of social prediction, constructs, that have failed. Instead of reconstructing their constructs to meet disconfirmations with better predictions, the hostile person attempts to force or coerce the world to fit their view, even if this is a forlorn hope, and even if it entails emotional expenditure and/or harm to self or others. In this sense hostility is a form of psychological
extortion Extortion is the practice of obtaining benefit through . In most jurisdictions it is likely to constitute a ; the bulk of this article deals with such cases. is the simplest and most common form of extortion, although making unfounded threat ...
- an attempt to force reality to produce the desired feedback, even by
acting out In the psychology Psychology is the scientific Science (from the Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area ...
in
bullying upright=1.3, Banner in a campaign against bullying at Cefet-MG Bullying is the use of force, coercion Coercion () is compelling a party to act in an involuntary manner by use of threat A threat is a ''communicated'' intent to inflict ...

bullying
by individuals and groups in various social contexts, in order that preconceptions become ever more widely validated. Kelly's theory of cognitive hostility thus forms a parallel to
Leon Festinger Leon Festinger (8 May 1919 – 11 February 1989) was an American social psychologist Social psychology is the scientific study of how the thoughts, feelings, and behavior Behavior (American English) or behaviour (British English; Am ...
's view that there is an inherent impulse to reduce
cognitive dissonance In the field of psychology, cognitive dissonance is the perception of contradictory information. Relevant items of information include a person's actions, feelings, ideas, beliefs, Value (ethics), values, and things in the environment. Cognitive d ...

cognitive dissonance
. While challenging reality can be a useful part of life, and
persistence Persistence may refer to: Math and computers * Image persistence, in LCD monitors * Persistence (computer science), the characteristic of data that outlives the execution of the program that created it * Persistence of a number, a mathematical qu ...
in the face of failure can be a valuable trait (for instance in invention or discovery ), in the case of hostility it is argued that evidence is not being accurately assessed but rather forced into a Procrustean mould in order to maintain one's belief systems and avoid having one's identity challenged. Instead it is claimed that hostility shows evidence of suppression or
denial Denial, in ordinary English usage, has at least three meanings: asserting that any particular statement or allegation is not true (which might be accurate or inaccurate); the refusal of a request; and asserting that a true statement is not true. ...

denial
, and is "deleted" from awareness - unfavorable evidence which might suggest that a prior belief is flawed is to various degrees ignored and willfully avoided.G Claxton, ''Live and Learn'' (Bristol 1984) p. 14 and p. 19


See also

*
Antisocial personality disorder Antisocial personality disorder (ASPD or infrequently APD) is a personality disorder Personality disorders (PD) are a class of mental disorder A mental disorder, also called a mental illness or psychiatric disorder, is a behavioral ...
*
Death drive In classical Freudian Sigmund Freud ( , ; born Sigismund Schlomo Freud; 6 May 1856 – 23 September 1939) was an Austrian neurologist Neurology (from el, νεῦρον (neûron), "string, nerve" and the suffix -logia, "study of") is a ...
*
Narcissism of small differences The narcissism of small differences (german: der Narzissmus der kleinen Differenzen) is the thesis that communities with adjoining territories and close relationships are especially likely to engage in feuds and mutual ridicule because of hypersens ...
* Righteous indignation


References


External links

* * {{Authority control Emotions Rage (emotion)