Hostility

Hostility

Hostility (also called inimicality) is a form of angry internal rejection or denial in psychology. It is a part of personal construct psychology, developed by George Kelly. In everyday speech it is more commonly used as a synonym for anger and aggression.

In psychological terms, Kelman defined hostility as the willful refusal to accept evidence that one's perceptions of the world are wrong. Instead of reconsidering, the hostile person attempts to force or coerce the world to fit their view, even if this is a forlorn hope, and however harmful the cost.

Whilst testing theories against reality is a necessary part of life, and persistence in the face of failure is often a necessary part of invention or discovery, in the case of hostility there is the distinction that the evidence is not assessed and a decision made to try again. Instead the evidence is suppressed or denied, and deleted from awareness - the unfavorable evidence which might suggest a prior belief is flawed is instead ignored and willfully avoided. Psychologically, it can be said that reality is being held to ransom, and in this sense hostility is a form of psychological extortion - an attempt to force reality to produce the desired feedback, in order that preconceptions become validated.

In this sense, hostility is a response which forms part of discounting of unwanted cognitive dissonance.

External links

* [http://www.oikos.org/kelhostility.htm Presidential Address on Hostility to Clinical Division of the APA, by Kelly, 1957]


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  • Hostility — Hos*til i*ty, n.; pl. {Hostilities}. [L. hostilitas: cf. F. hostilit[ e].] 1. State of being hostile; public or private enemy; unfriendliness; animosity. [1913 Webster] Hostility being thus suspended with France. Hayward. [1913 Webster] 2. An act …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • hostility — index alienation (estrangement), argument (contention), belligerency, collision (dispute), conflict …   Law dictionary

  • hostility — early 15c., from M.Fr. hostilité enmity (15c.), or directly from L.L. hostilitatem (nom. hostilitas) enmity, from L. hostilis, from hostis enemy (see GUEST (Cf. guest)). Hostilities in the sense of “warfare” attested from 1610s …   Etymology dictionary

  • hostility — *enmity, animosity, antagonism, antipathy, rancor, animus Analogous words: hatred, *hate: ill will, malevolence, malignity, malignancy, *malice: aggression, *attack: opposing or opposition, combating, resisting or resistance (see corresponding… …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • hostility — [n] antagonism, meanness abhorrence, aggression, animosity, animus, antipathy, aversion, bad blood*, bellicosity, belligerence, bitterness, detestation, disaffection, enmity, estrangement, grudge, hatred, ill will, inimicality, malevolence,… …   New thesaurus

  • hostility — [häs til′ə tē] n. pl. hostilities [Fr hostilité < LL hostilitas < L hostilis, HOSTILE] 1. a feeling of enmity, ill will, unfriendliness, etc.; antagonism 2. a) an expression of enmity and ill will; hostile act b) [pl.] open acts of war;… …   English World dictionary

  • hostility — noun 1 opposition/aggressive feelings or actions ADJECTIVE ▪ bitter (esp. BrE), considerable, deep, extreme, great, implacable ▪ downright, open …   Collocations dictionary

  • hostility — hos|til|i|ty [hɔˈstılıti US ha: ] n 1.) [U] when someone is unfriendly and full of anger towards another person hostility towards/between ▪ hostility towards foreigners hostility toward AmE ▪ hostility toward Jews open/outright hostility… …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • hostility — n. 1) to arouse, stir up hostility 2) to display, show hostility 3) to express; feel hostility 4) bitter, deep, profound; open hostility 5) hostility against, to, towards 6) hostility between * * * [hɒ stɪlɪtɪ] deep feel hostility open hostility …   Combinatory dictionary

  • hostility */*/ — UK [hɒˈstɪlətɪ] / US [hɑˈstɪlətɪ] noun Word forms hostility : singular hostility plural hostilities 1) [uncountable] opposition to something hostility to/towards: There is always some hostility to new technology. 2) [uncountable] unfriendly or… …   English dictionary


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