What psychological process makes a person who is treated badly respond and treat others accordingly although they don’t like they way they’re treated?

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What psychological process makes a person who is treated badly respond and treat others accordingly although they don’t like they way they’re treated?

In: Other

Learned behavior. Essentially, even if someone knows that a behavior is hurtful, they will still do it because they think that’s how it’s “supposed” to be. That’s why abusive people isolate their victims as much as possible, so they don’t learn that violence and control isn’t the only way to live.

I imagine part of the explanation is a desire on the part of the individual to “make it fair.” There have been experiments performed on monkeys (or apes, I can’t remember) where so long as all individuals received the same food nobody complained (even if the food wasn’t very good) but if one individual saw that another received a better type of food then it no longer accepted the ordinary food and in fact became quite angry.

Found a video of the experiment: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=meiU6TxysCg

It has to do with power and effectiveness. You “lost” an argument to someone who demeaned you or physically assaulted you, so you learn that this is how arguments are won and how people get their way. So you realize this weapon is effective and now you use it against other people.

This is why spanking and child abuse is so traumatizing. Instead of teaching a child that arguments are won using reason and negotiating, you teach them that reason and negotiation accomplish nothing. The way to get someone to do what you want is not negotiating, but through violence and aggression.

Part of it is that it feels better to take your anger out on others. Like your boss yells at you so you yell at your assistant who goes home and hits his wife who then hits the kid who then kicks the dog.

Getting abused does not automatically make you pass it on—there *are* people out there who were beat on as kids, yet have not become abusers themselves. I don’t know why everyone seems to think it’s inevitable.

I think you’ll only pass the violent behavior down if, on some level, it “worked” on you. For example, if you *did* ~~freeze in terror~~ stop crying after mom threatened to whip you with a coat hanger— well then, you might internalize the message “these methods might be shitty but they get results” and try it yourself someday. Conversely, if you never stopped screaming the whole beating long and she finally just gave up, I doubt you’d grow up feeling that violence is an effective tool.