Bernard Cohen, writing at Psychology Today Blogs, explores the work of Aaron Beck, considered the father of cognitive therapy. Among the topics Beck explored was “the cognitive basis of anger, hostility, and violence”; Cohen focuses on that aspect of his work. Given the current state of dis coarse discourse, in which many folks don’t seem happy unless they are hating, I found this a worthwhile read. Here’s a bit (emphasis in the original):
With regard to individuals or groups, Beck clearly states that embracing violence requires three distinct shifts in perspective built upon these distortions in thinking. The others, or members of the opposition, are homogenized, made devoid of their unique individuality. Secondly, they are dehumanized and viewed as no longer worthy of empathy or compassion. And finally, they are demonized, viewed as representing the epitome of evil–a perspective that might then justify the escalation to violence.
Sounds familiar, does it not?
Follow the link for the rest.