Catharsis Hypothesis by Cheri Hiatt

Catharsis is a proposed method for relieving aggression where someone takes their anger out on an indirect object or person that is not the true source of the aggression. This method, however, has been shown to build aggression rather than reduce it.


As this clip illustrates, the lead character is angry because he was blamed for the death of his father who was killed while driving drunk. As a result of this anger, he beats up some men in the car behind him after they triggered the release of his aggression. Ordinarily their actions would most likely not have resulted in a physical fight, but because he was angry at something else, he used this opportunity to manifest his aggression. However, the end of the fight, he still appears to be steaming and angry, showing that his cathartic methods were unsuccessful.

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