By James Wong Wing On

Exploring the psychology of violence

In recent years, Malaysia has not only witnessed economic and political changes, but also an upsurge in violent incidents in the social sphere. These include gruesome murders, torture of domestic maids and sexual assaults against children.

What has gone wrong with Malaysians?

For some, the phenomenon can be explained purely in terms of the general lack of moral and religious education in an increasingly materialistic and hedonistic society. According to this school of thought, the solution is to suppress the materialistic and hedonistic currents and to promote moral and religious education, especially among youth.

While that school of thought may have a certain degree of merit, another school of thought opines that the trend can be understood from the perspectives of modern psychology and social psychology.