Living Reference Work Entry

Encyclopedia of Evolutionary Psychological Science

pp 1-4

Date: Latest Version

Aggressive Fantasies

Synonyms

Fantasy aggression; Fantasy violence; Violent fantasy

Definition

The imagination of actions which have the goal of causing injury to another organism

Introduction

Aggressive fantasy refers to the imagination of an act which has the goal of injuring another organism. Functionally, aggressive fantasy may serve to increase the availability of aggressive actions in response to real-world situations and to normalize such aggressive behaviors (Guerra et al. 2003; Huesmann and Eron 1984). Furthermore, in extreme circumstances, aggressive fantasies could also serve as precursors to homicide, through homicidal ideation. If acted upon, homicide has the potential to lead to benefits such as preventing premature death, removing rivals, and gaining resources, among others (Duntley and Buss 2011).

Research on the relationship between aggressive fantasy and real-world aggression dates back more than 60 years. Initially, such research aimed to determine whether aggressive fantasy functioned as a ca ...

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