I believe that violence is just a part of life. I think that, when you can’t take it any more and feel like you’re about to explode, a little violent behaviour can relieve the tension.

People have used violence as a way of releasing pent up emotion throughout all of recorded history. It is a basic way of dealing with frustration. But in today’s society this behaviour is usually proscribed in public and discouraged in private. Catharsis espousers are those most likely in our culture to disregard these strictures and believe that violence has a place in their lives.

Many of these people will be in the younger, mid-market male sector of the population – a sector that tends to have more encounters with violent behaviour in most cultures. But as the map shows this is just more prevalent in these demographics, not isolated within them. People of all persuasions have this – just not to the same extent.

This Attribute is felt to be cleansing, an alleviation of stress. This stress is often induced when the espouser cannot get what they want. To them it is acceptable to use force to get what they want. In public situations, for example at work, this may manifest itself in the form of behaviour perceived as bullying and intimidation or displays of disruption that force others to alter their behaviours and let the espouser get their way.

If they can’t get their way in their family or work environments they are more than likely to displace the frustration into other forms of violence against others. They may find themselves involved in civil disturbances; or in pubs or other public places joining in violent situations that they haven’t necessarily initiated. These espousers may have full time jobs, earning good money, yet join unemployed or under-employed young men in situations that have a potential for violence, like football matches or marches for ‘anything’, and will happily join in anything that is confrontational to the immediate authorities.

Being comfortable with bending the rules is part and parcel of this approach to life. Getting what they want, if others don’t want them to have it, means that a few rules are going to get bent before they get what they want. This isn’t just getting something for its own sake. The things they are likely to want are those which have an impact on their lives, especially when it comes to the display of status, of their achievements in life. Winning the game, by cheating if necessary, is all right. It is the ends that matter, not how the ends were achieved.

Catharsis espousers are sexist in their view of gender roles. They believe a man’s place is at work and a woman’s place is in the home; and may take it even farther and believe that men are superior to women. This orientation can create real problems in the workplace that has female supervisors, managers and board-level members. Just being a good team player at work can lead to a build-up of frustration for the espousers of Catharsis.

Keeping their emotions in check is a real challenge to many of them. They love and seek out situations in which they get a buzz or a sensation outside the everyday life of the rational choice, the logical answer and the ‘ho-hum’ of the ‘straight’ world. Following the rules and getting ahead isn’t much of a choice when they can bend or break the rules and get ahead. If this is the risky option, then all the better. They love to be in situations that others find risky or dangerous. This is where they come alive – outside the boundaries set up by others.

Violence is both a stimulant to the senses and also a way of releasing pent up frustrations – a truly winning combination to these espousers.


Using Catharsis

Demographic Skews:

1) Over-indexed: Male, all under 35, mid-market

2) Under-indexed: Female, over 45, up-market

Catharsis espousers also espouse other Attributes. The top five most highly correlated Attributes of Catharsis espousers are, in order of the strength of relationship:

1) Force
2) Simmer
3) Bender
4) Patriarchy
5) Buzz

In total those who espouse Catharsis also over-index significantly on 33 other Attributes.

If "Catharsis" (or the associated attributes) are important to you and you would like to delve more deeply, contact us at