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In social and behavioral sciences, aggression is usually defined as intentional behavior aimed at harming another person, who in turn wants to avoid such harm. A widely acknowledged distinction has been made between hostile aggression (harm as the goal) and instrumental aggression (harm as means to another goal). Past research concerned especially the so-called frustration-aggression hypothesis and perspectives from social learning theory. In current research the General Model of Aggression (GAM) figures prominently, highlighting person and situation inputs, cognitive, affective, and arousal routes, and the outcomes of the underlying appraisal and decision processes. ⸙

Since the late 1950s, “identity” has been a popular topic in social science and in public discourse. Philosophical discussions about personal identity culminated in a concept of narrative identity in the hermeneutical tradition. In the social sciences a concept of identity as a coherent and consistent self-understanding is dominant. Recent empirical research distinguishes personal identity (identity-status paradigm, life story model of identity) from social identity (role-based and group-based identities). Present debates consider the postmodern challenge of the concept of personal identity, the adequacy of a concept of collective identity, the problems of identity politics, and the analytical value of a concept of identity per se. The consequences for research on religious identity are discussed. ⸙