Front Page Titles (by Subject) Individual Assertion vs. Aggression - Literature of Liberty, April/June 1979, vol. 2, No. 2
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Individual Assertion vs. Aggression - Leonard P. Liggio, Literature of Liberty, April/June 1979, vol. 2, No. 2 
Literature of Liberty: A Review of Contemporary Liberal Thought was published first by the Cato Institute (1978-1979) and later by the Institute for Humane Studies (1980-1982) under the editorial direction of Leonard P. Liggio.
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Individual Assertion vs. Aggression
“Differentiating Assertion and Aggression: Some Behavioral Guidelines.” Behavior Therapy 8 (1977): 347–352.
What behavioral criteria distinguish assertion from aggression?
An assertive response is defined as “the direct verbal, and nonverbal expression of one's feelings, needs, preferences, or opinions.” Aggression is defined as “any response which delivers, either verbally or nonverbally, noxious stimulation to another individual.” This latter definition does not eliminate the problem of subjectivity: what may be noxious to one person may not be to another. What we need for greater objectivity is a reliable indicator of what has a high probability of being perceived as noxious. Such an indicator is the use of coercive power, i.e., the use of threats and punishments in an effort to obtain compliance.
Assertive behavior, in contrast to aggression does not involve the use of coercive power. Thus, assertive behavior can be placed under the rubric of the legitimate use of social power. Its power stems from the internalized values of the other individual and is consistent with socially defined rights. Where aggression may be effective in the short-term in gaining compliance, it is likely to reduce the likelihood of developing long-term effective interpersonal relationships. Aggression increases the potential for counter-attack. A person may use aggressive responses because effective assertive behaviors have never been learned.