Research on human aggression has progressed to a point at which a unifying framework
is needed. Major domain-limited theories of aggression include cognitive neoassociation,
social learning, social interaction, script, and excitation transfer theories. Using
the general aggression model (GAM), this review posits cognition, affect, and arousal
to mediate the effects of situational and personological variables on aggression.
The review also organizes recent theories of the development and persistence of aggressive
personality. Personality is conceptualized as a set of stable knowledge structures
that individuals use to interpret events in their social world and to guide their
behavior. In addition to organizing what is already known about human aggression,
this review, using the GAM framework, also serves the heuristic function of suggesting
what research is needed to fill in theoretical gaps and can be used to create and
test interventions for reducing aggression.