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nebule's avatar

What is the psychology behind rebellion?

Asked by nebule (16107 points ) January 20th, 2010

Is it anger?
Is it revenge?
What do we hope to achieve by rebelling, which seems often subconscious when we do it?
Is it an unhealthy way to behave in itself regardless of what the rebellion is?
Can you give me the psychological perspective of rebellion and information about it please?

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20 Answers

serenity's avatar

too many restrictions and wanting to break free

mowens's avatar

We hope to achieve freedom from oppression. Rebellion happens when we realize words will no longer get us what we want. A true rebellion, begins with a great document “to place before mankind the common sense of the subject, in terms so plain and firm as to command their assent.” -T. Jefferson.

marinelife's avatar

Rebellion is a natural expression. It comes when we chafe at restriction. It is not unhealthy, but a healthy way of dealing with undue restriction.

DrBill's avatar

Rebellion, at it’s basic level is testing limits, to see what a person can and cannot do.

If a child is told to stay in their room, they take just a step out, if nothing happens they take two. This continues, until reprimanded. Then the child knows where the true limits of their “room” really are.

BoBo1946's avatar

Hypocrisy of government, people, parents! Being treated unfairly. Too many taxes and government restrictions. Double standards…just to name a few that causes rebellion!

wonderingwhy's avatar

it’s a way to break limits and assert and confirm your sense of self. when people as individuals or groups feel they’re losing this sense or that they are being marginalized (often through restriction, but also through assimilation, and other methods) a natural reaction is to try to reinforce it through the means viewed as most effective.

Cruiser's avatar

Rebellion to me is a clear way of saying “enough is enough” in the wake of an oppressive situation where the “oppressor” is obviously not listening to the objections being expressed or demonstrated by the oppressed.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

Rebellion is about asserting oneself as capable of making one’s own decisions in a situation or when it comes to certain ideas or laws.

CMaz's avatar

Rebellion to one is liberation to another.

Harp's avatar

We’re social animals. This means that most often, we find it advantageous to work cooperatively within groups to achieve goals. We’re willing to make some sacrifices of individual control because playing by the groups rules and respecting the hierarchy tends to make the group function more efficiently, and that moves everyone toward the goal.

But there are times when the goal of the individual (or a sub-group) diverges so radically from that of the group that the individual can’t see a way of achieving that goal in the context of the group. A decision has to be made: does the importance of the individual outweigh the advantages afforded by being in the group? Is there a reasonable chance of bringing the group’s goal into line with your goal? The decision may be that the interests of the individual and the group are irreconcilable, and that the individual’s goals are too important to compromise. In that case, rebellion may be the best option.

This can play out on a grand and noble scale, as in uprising against tyranny, but it can also have common and petty currents. The individual’s goal may simply be to garner attention, and he may not have the wherewithal to accomplish that by distinguishing himself within the group. He may judge that the only way to draw attention to himself is to rebel.

Harp's avatar

edit: ”...does the importance of the individual’s goal outweigh the advantages afforded by being in the group?”

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

As an adult behaviour, when we decide that “enough is enough” after exhausting all other means of dealing with unresponsive authority.

mammal's avatar

you seem to posit two negative motivations for rebellion, particularly revenge, perhaps you are also accustomed to viewing rebellion in a purely negative light….i would say that in itself is psychologically unhealthy.

mowens's avatar

A rebellion is always legal in the first person, such as “our rebellion.” It is only in the third person – “their rebellion” – that it becomes illegal. – B. Franklin

dutchbrossis's avatar

Wanting to break the rules and test the limits. I think it comes from realizing that most of society’s rules are ridiculous and not wanting to follow them wanting to be yourself and not just conform.

Supacase's avatar

Maybe I am unusual, but speaking for myself, I would have to say that my rebellion during my teen and pre-teen years was to tell my parents, “pay attention to me, god damn it!”

faye's avatar

Do you think some of us are just born that way? If you show me a Do Not Enter, I really want to enter. I have always had to flout dress codes a little, etc. Mostly small change stuff, just to show I can’t be regulated, I guess.

daemonelson's avatar

Anger is a fantastic tool to expose injustices. Rebellion is just the small or large-scale manifestation of great anger.

Unless you’re speaking in reference to teenage rebellion. In which case, during the teen years it’s the brain’s job to try out as many different kinds of behaviour as possible to see what works and what doesn’t. Rebellion just happens to be in the list.

YARNLADY's avatar

Rebellion could stem from many things. It could be simply laziness, desire for change, desire to assert independence, or experiment with disobedience.

nebule's avatar

hmmm… but it’s not necessairly a bad thing… which is good to know….

I ask partly because I find myself looking back on a lot of things and thinking about my actions as quite rebellious and I have thought that it was to try and get attention… or maybe just out of anger… or maybe both… or maybe and simply because the things I have done might be classed as rebellion by those people of the majority and yet really simply what I wanted to do as part of my true authenticity?? I’m not sure….yet.. but all your answers are helping me figure it out,... immensely…

It’s mainly stuff I did as a child from the age of 10 onwards through to the present day…so I’m not talking about toddlers testing boundaries as such, but that information is useful too in terms of dealing with my own son…

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