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Explanation of the General Aggression Model

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Psychology
Wordcount: 2354 words Published: 18th May 2020

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When considering the General Aggression Model, it serves as a model to produce understanding and advice options for why humans act aggressively as entities, within assemblies, or a nation.  The model makes use of three mainframes that give multiple descriptions as to why aggressive inclinations improve during a specific timeframe.  The general aggression model describes three processors used to help researchers give an accurate description as to why individuals develop a destructive state of mind and why it advances over certain periods or whether it is developed through individual people and evolves over specific periods of time or through the nature kingdom or cognitive emotion, that leads to an outcome.  Specific reasons for an individual to develop the psychotic mentality that would give them the desire to even harm people within society could possibly have something to do with one’s environment or negative life experiences that would cause them to behave in an aggressive manner.  Another factor that can contribute in an individual’s mental compacity and bring about violent behavior could be experiences that affect the mental state of and individual or the introduction of negative thoughts from people who represent hate groups or possible terrorist groups.

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Explanation why Anger Develops

     Some offenders develop a type of aggressive behavior even though they may not have grown up in a hostile home environment. It is important to understand how aggression or violent behaviors develops within normal individuals over a lifespan of years.  According to Mikulincer & Shaver (2014) the general aggression module the general aggression module serves the precise purpose of helping researchers to understand how one develops such violent tendencies and the cause for conditions of the violent behavior.  There are many different explanations that researchers have developed when bearing in mind that include the individual’s atmosphere and their complete genetic background. 

     Mikulincer & Shaver (2014) discussed how violence within an individual could formulate over a period of 40 years from childhood to adulthood by way of learning or based on situations that may bring about violent behavioral actions.  Typically, individuals who commit acts of terrorism deal with some type of mental issues or influence by specific cultures or leaders of specific terroristic groups.  Sometimes the young men may easily become influenced by the leaders of terroristic groups due to a lack of attention from their fathers or the fact that they may be homeless with no positive influence in their lives and no outlet for their anger.  They may feel hostility within their government and develop animosity towards specific types of individuals or aim to make a statement by taking innocent lives in the process of performing suicide bombing or other terroristic acts.  The anger issues and hostility tend to develop in people who veer towards terroristic actions at an early age and some may possibly have witnessed hostility within their environment or biologically have some disorders that cause the to react in violent manners.

Factors that Contribute to Aggression

     Some factors that may contribute to anger such as antisocial behavior, aggression and violence.  In hunter/ gathering ancestors 25,000 years ago, aggression and violence played a legitimate part, despite revolutionary modifications in human life.  The various societies within such Greek, Egyptians, and Roman societies were considered thousands of years ago to be brutal and hostile groups (Mikulincer & Shaver, 2014).  Some individuals may have issues that tend to be hereditary or cultural behavior such as cults that are passed down aggressive issues that are reflected on innocent people in society that drives them to take lives and this could be an issue passed down through the individuals’ families.  They may be trained to show aggression and are taught and mind manipulated at young ages to turn their mindset of the government and to be rebellious enough to handle weapons and inflict fear upon societal groups. Through experience of poverty or obtaining family members owing debt terrorist groups may appoint a younger person to join the terrorist group.

    Even nowadays violence and aggression continue to grow round the nation and delinquent behavior tends to involve acts that go against personal or cultural standards for correct behavior.  This typically entails violence and hostility however most of the days. People who behave in a delinquent manner typically interact in abnormal behavior like being deceitful, thieving, and different illegal activities (Mikulincer & Shaver, 2014).   

     It is understood that the universal aggression model tends to focus mainly on how violence unfolds in a single cycle of enduring social dealings ((Mikulincer & Shaver, 2014).  By utilizing GAM (general aggression model) in an effort to better understand anger and some psychological theories of this form of violence includes the frustration-aggression theory, socioecological models, cognitive neoassociation theory, social learning theory, script theory excitation transfer theory, and social interaction theory (DeWall, Anderson, & Bushman, 2011).

     Table 1

Three Issues Within the General Aggression Model

Person and Situation Inputs

The GAM considers both situation and man or woman truth exceptionally enduring traits, motivations, attitudes, beliefs, and different persistent expertise structures and much less enduring cognitive, affective and arousal states that occur in specific contests. Person and situation input are immediate motives in that they supply the most direct guiding force in the back of aggression behavior although the behavior, such as provocation, exposure to weapons, a warm environment, unpleasant odors, loud noises, violent media, and physical pain.

Internal States

Type of therapy introduced to sexual convict that reassures the individual to change their views on their sexual lifestyle and how creation views as it concerns the predator’s communication with people 


Type of plans involving the use of medications such as Depo-Provera that generally drops sexual predator’s testosterone levels which triggers the view that sexual hostility is related to a sort of hormone inequality

Aggression Before and After the Single Episode Cycle


Possible Future Benefits of Treatment

     According to Holmes (2011) there is confidence for the growth of behavior for sexual criminals and how society observes the ones convicted of sex crimes.  Seager, Jellicoe, and Dhaliwal (2004) view programs attempting to reverse the criminal sexual habits of sex offenders as a constant problem when assessing the effectiveness of dropping recidivism.  The description of recidivism is the propensity for a felonious sex offender to reiterate sex offenses.  In this sense it is rather difficult for those providing the offender’s treatment, to determine whether or not the convicted felon is dedicated to change or whether the individual is participating in the treatment process just to minimize his or her jail time. 

Not every convicted felon enters into a treatment plan honestly desiring to change their way of conducting themselves in the natural world.  For some individuals, it is not a simple task to get rid of a strong desire that was developed due to specific circumstances that took place in the offender’s youthful years that caused him or her to behave in the manner that they have.  Doren  (2008) states that according to recent studies, there is no true determination of whether psychopaths benefit from certain treatment.  The factors on whether the treatment for sexual deviance behavior is beneficial to the sexual offender is solely based upon the determination and willingness of the felon to deter from their wrongful behavior. 

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It is important for these felons to be encouraged to make a change not just so they can be released from prison quicker, but so that they can function as what we deem normal individuals in this world without judgment placed on them simply because of what they have experienced in their youth.  The main purpose of providing psychological and medical treatment to sex offenders is to attempt to cure the mental illness or defect that may cause them  to act out their darkest desires with no remorse or feeling of guilt, which is considered humanistic normality.  If the offender genuinely wants to change their behavior it would be proven through their actions when committing to therapy.  Levenson (2010) insist that when offenders interact within the therapeutic method and skills associated with honest reference to others, psycho-therapy could possibly provide chances for evolving active caring aids that are pertinent for dropping lapse threats.  Even though offenders may receive the therapy they run the risk of turning back to their criminal way and committing the same sex crimes again even after treatment or release after the fact.


        In conclusion, there are many different kinds of sex offenders that exist in the world.  Some offenders have different kinds of sexual fetishes that they tend to act on and in their actions commit major crimes against adults and children.  Commonly, humanity will view these criminals as sick individuals and never think about the possibility of treatment for such a twisted individual.  Even fellow inmates will see a sex offender as a license and consider them as unfit to dwell within society.  Although people may feel that these criminal sexual offenders should be put to death because of the horrible crimes they have committed, others may feel that there is hope for these types of individuals. 

     The assistance that these convicts may be able to receive may consist of cognitive therapy, behavioral therapy, and medical treatment.  Cognitive therapy helps the sexual convict to change their views on their sexual lifestyle and change their views as it deals with interconnection with people.  Behavioral therapy uses incentives such as gifts and penalties to influence the felon’s behavioral patterns.  Another treatment used is the medical treatment which could include medication that will lower the testosterone in the sexual predator so that the aggressive part of their behavior is suppressed.  The types of treatments have had some positive effects on certain offenders who were genuinely attempting to change, however there have been a number of instances where felons have manipulated the process of treatment for personal gain or just to simply seem as if they were trying to do better.  When this occurs, society begins to view these criminals as hopeless individuals who should not be given a second chance at life due to the extent of their actions and crimes committed.  Even though sexually deviant criminals tend to be psychopaths who think they are smarter than law enforcement, their intentions when considering changing their mindset will no doubt become clear as the possibility of treatment is introduced to them.


  • Doren, D. M., & Yates, P. M. (2008). Effectiveness of Sex Offender Treatment for Psychopathic Consumer Satisfaction and Engagement in Therapy.  International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology52(2), 234–245. 
  • Holmes, S. T. (2011). Sex crimes: patterns & behaviors (3rd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage  Publications. ISBN-13: 978-1412952989
  • Levenson, J. S., Prescott, D. S., & D’Amora, D. A. (2010). Sex Offender Treatment: in Prison: Consumer Satisfaction and Engagement in Therapy.  International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology54(3), 307–326. https://doi.org/10.1177/0306624X08328752
  • Seager, J.A., Jellicoe, D., & Dhaliwal, G.K. (2004). Refusers, Dropouts, and Completers:  Measuring Sex Offender Treatment Efficacy. International Journal of Offender Therapy    and Comparative Criminology, 48 5, 600-12. https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/0306624X04263885


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