Why we hate
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Why We Hate. A look at the psychology of hatred. The Anatomy of Hate. The Amygdala Part of the Limbic System (motivation, emotion, survival & reproduction) Size of grape 1” under each temple ‘oldest’ part of brain. The Anatomy of Hate. Scans for threat/pain (physical & emotional)

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Why we hate

Why We Hate

A look at the psychology of hatred

The anatomy of hate
The Anatomy of Hate

The Amygdala

  • Part of the Limbic

    System (motivation,

    emotion, survival &


  • Size of grape

  • 1” under each temple

  • ‘oldest’ part of brain

The anatomy of hate1
The Anatomy of Hate

  • Scans for threat/pain

    (physical & emotional)

  • Triggers ‘automatic’ response (ducking, flinching, screaming)

  • When ‘on’ in humans and animals, it causes violent outbursts

The anatomy of hate2
The Anatomy of Hate

  • People with rage disorders (IED) have over-active amygs

  • If removed, aggression STOPS . . . . . but animals lose the ability to send or receive emotion (not completely true in humans)

    *cat & dog experiment

The anatomy of hate3
The Anatomy of Hate

Amygdala wired to:

  • hypothalamus = regs

    the body’s systems &

    controls aggressive

    and defensive


  • Pituitary gland = controls hormones (like adrenaline)

The anatomy of hate4
The Anatomy of Hate

  • speech centers (crap!)

  • Cerebral cortex = responsible for self-awareness and advanced thought

    *This connection joins primal hate/fear with our highest thought process = meaning

What does meaning do
What does ‘meaning’ do?

  • Other than basic ‘survival drives’, humans lack animal like instincts for a sense of daily purpose

  • Humans devote emotional commitment in our ‘meaning’ to life

What does meaning do1
What does ‘meaning’ do?

  • To us,

    meaning = survival

  • This dedication to ‘meaning’ is so intense that we are vulnerable to interpreting those with different cultures, religions, and politics as ‘enemies’

Hate and history
Hate and History

  • Holocaust of 1940s

  • Yugoslavia

  • Israel & Palestine

  • September 11, 2001

  • Rwanda

So why do we hate
So, Why Do We Hate?

  • A PRIME DIRECTIVE for survival

  • We attack things/people we view as a threat to our survival

  • FEAR is a LEARNED tool that values stereotyping (fear of spiders . . . avoid ALL spiders)

What does hate look like

Fight or flight response

Connection between hate and perceived power of the hated

Lack of ‘sympathy’ for victims because of learned fear and stereotyping (Tim McVey ‘collateral damage’ = 19 dead children in OK City)

Is not selective, like anger can be (angry with one person . . . not an entire group)

The more powerful the threat, the more powerful the hate response

Closer proximity increases hate intensity (Israel/Palestine)

What Does Hate Look Like?

Environmental contributors
Environmental Contributors

  • Some cultures RARELY activate the physiological hate response (Semai)

  • When the Semai move to other places, they demonstrate hate and violence as is normal in the new place

  • Drug-addicted mothers more likely to have children with a damaged threat-response system (over or under aroused)

More environmental factors
More Environmental Factors

  • The LEAST violent societies are those in which men and women live, eat, and sleep together in a relatively equal setting

  • The MOST violent societies are those in which men and women live separately, and in which boys are taken from their mothers at an early age for indoctrination

    (inner-city gangs, Al Queda, etc)

Can hate be eliminated
Can Hate Be Eliminated?

  • BE SPECIFIC. Help others identify ‘why’ they are angry. This keeps the cortex activated and minimizes limbic work


    Try to understand others. (30 Days)

Can hate be eliminated1
Can Hate Be Eliminated?

  • COMMUNICATE, specifically, why anger is felt

  • Work on CONSTRUCTIVE NEGOTIATIONS . . . focusing on positive solutions to problems keeps cortex working!

Can hate be eliminated2
Can Hate Be Eliminated?

  • EDUCATION that is accurate, specific, & empathetic (PreWWII Germany was ‘most educated’ nation of its time

Can hate be eliminated3
Can Hate Be Eliminated?

  • COOPERATE WITH OTHERS in mutually beneficial ways

  • Put things into PERSPECTIVE!


  • IMMERSE YOURSELF in a positive way with the source of your fear/hate

One final strategy
One Final Strategy . . .

  • Seek Justice,



    (p. 248 of Dozier)

Shining example of possibilities
Shining Example of Possibilities

  • 2001 Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought for ‘Families Forum’

  • Believe that motherhood, fatherhood, and the wish to save living children are the only common denominators that overcome race, religion, and nationality