The hatred behind some violence
In polarised situation such us the current social unrest in Hong Kong, people in the two poles of the spectrum tended to overgeneralise in perceiving members of the other group. When we are exposing to the behaviours of individuals of the other group, we may tend to generalise these behaviours to the overall behavioural pattern of the other group. As a result, we may catastrophically distort the motives or attitudes of the other group as a whole, this lead to the development of anger and hatred towards our opposition.
The hatred developed within a group may partly contribute to the violence exhibited towards the opposite party. The violence exhibited because of hatred of the other party is known as reactive violence. The possible primal thinking behind this reactive violence partly involves overgeneralisation. Members of one group become obsessively focusing on their enemy’s evil motives and attitudes and tend to produce extremely negative images of them.
Members of the group will homogenised members of the other party. This means members of the other party lost their identities as an individuals and are disposable. These homogenous individuals are generalised into having same motives and attributes. Members of the opposite party will also be dehumanised. When members of the opposite part are being dehumanised, these “objects” no longer warrant the empathy of the ingroup members. Therefore, brutal violence is justified, as members of the opposite side are inanimate objects. What is worse is that, members of the opposite party are also being demonised. That is, they are being perceived as evil and must be exterminated.
It is beyond dispute that some members of the opposite group did exhibit unreasonable and unjustified violence. In fact, in view of the current situation, further violence is apparently ineffective in calming the storm. Members of both polarised parties need to be aware of ones’ hatred towards the other group and the possible primal thinking behind the hatred.