Welcome to Aggression Management Solutions

This blog is a place for open expression about aggression, Aggression Management and its many applications and facets. Within reasonable bounds, we intend to answer all your questions and provide a platform for others to learn and express their views on this very important topic.  Please check back soon for new entries.


  1. james

    I have long been interested in the thought and writings of the psychologist Alice Miller. More than anyone else I know, she provides me with useful ways of understanding where agression and cruelty come from and gives vital information that can be used for prevention and further study.

    I realize there is a philosophical dichotomy between “talk-based” and “pharmacological” psychological theraputics. Perhaps these divisions are merely expressions of humanity’s familiar “either/or” “us versus them” and “fight or flight” dilemmas.

    Could they be rooted in the biology of the two separate yet dependent hemispheres of the human brain?

    The “right” brain has been described by science as the province of dream, patterned thinking, intuition and metaphor. “Left” brain functions are characterized by such qualities as logic, literalism and rationalism.

    I believe we need to give equal attention to both if we are going to deal with anger, agression, conflict and peace-making.

  2. Dr. Byrnes,

    I believe that you posted a very helpful comment to the Oakland Press online article about the Detroit bomber. You have an approach to both workplace bullying and to would be terrorists that seems worthy of wider discussion.

    Techniques such as you advocate in either of these settings would seem to involve some trade off between improved security and possible loss of privacy for those being screened. Could you comment please on how you would balance these competing values?

  3. John D. Byrnes

    Thank you, David-

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    Actually neither are diminished by our Aggression Management’s Aggression Continuum. 


    According to the U.S. Secret Service and the U.S. Department of Education’s report on Targeted Violence in Schools, there is a significant difference between “profiling” and identifying and measuring emerging aggression; “The use of profiles is not effective either for identifying students who may pose a risk for targeted violence at school or – once a student has been identified – for assessing the risk that a particular student may pose for school-based targeted violence.”  It continues; “An inquiry should focus instead on a student’s behaviors and communications to determine if the student appears to be planning or preparing for an attack.”  Assessing objective, culturally neutral, identifiable criteria of emerging aggression must be our goal.  This is the basis for our Aggression Continuum, which uses behavior, body language and communication indicators to measure emerging aggression.


    Because we are using measured objective observables of “hostile intent,” we are maximizing security without invading privacy.  We can see the myriad of alleged methods to identify a terrorist, whether “no-fly list,” “explosive and weapons detection,” mental illness based methods, the use of “profiling” or “deception detection,” have all failed us.  In fact, Homeland Security, Directorate of Science and Technology, Human Factors division is using their current budget to explore yet another “deception detection” methodology and this system, like its predecessor, will fail us.  Furthermore, the development of deception detection training at Boston Logan Airport demonstrated that the Israel methods of interrogation will not work in the US. 


    These methods fail us because they use Primal (adrenaline-driven) Aggression; things like frustration, anger and fear drive these indicators and these reflect someone losing control and ultimately attacking a victim or victims.  However, these are the indicators used by TSA, Homeland Security and law enforcement, which is why TSA continues to pull aside 85 year old women on their way to their husband’s funeral.


    Only when you use our Cognitive (intent-driven) Aggression, can you truly identify the terrorist.  What the mind perceives the body responds; when an individual’s intent is to give up their life for a cause (the highest order of human intent), their body responds by losing animation.  We see what the military call the “thousand yard stare,” but it is much more; their whole body and behavior lose animations, the Israelis call this the “walking dead.” This is our ninth-level of Cognitive Aggression (the murder/suicide), the eighth-level is the murderer or combatant and the seventh-level is the accomplice, terrorist-handler and/or the individual who is inspiring another to commit murder/suicide.  While TSA, Homeland Security and law enforcement are out looking for the Primal (adrenaline-driven) Aggressor, who is red-faced and ready to explode, the real threat — the Cognitive (intent-driven) Aggressor – shows no emotional markers.  In other words, they are looking for the wrong aggressor!


    I have offer an extended explanation but hopefully you now realize that not only do we protect citizen’s privacy by focusing only on emerging “aggressive” behavior but by delineating aggression into nine (clearly defined, culturally-neutral) measures of aggression we make our citizens safer, never giving in an inch on security.

  4. David

    I think a satisfactory answer to my question would involve giving a couple of examples – perhaps one in a workplace context and one in an airport context. Explain what exactly is being observed, measured and stored in a database about the behavior of individuals that will enable someone to make a judgment that there is “emerging aggression” in someone who does not show the classic adrenaline driven behavior.

  5. John D. Byrnes

    David, I did! 

    I explained that, when a person rises to the level of murder/suicide their body and behavior lose animation and we see the thousand-yard stare as well as the additional loss of animation in their behavior.  This applies to suicide bombers and individuals like Seung-Hui Cho at Virginia Tech, who would come into a classroom or a workplace and begin shooting knowing that in the end they would either take their own life or aim their weapon at a police officer expecting that officer to kill them (suicide by cop). This is our ninth-level of Cognitive Aggression. The murderer or combatant is the eighth-level and the complicit-tactician or accomplice is the seventh-level. Clearly, when you are measuring emerging aggression you can better engage this person and use just the right about of diffusing techniques to de-escalate this aggressor.  In other words, you won’t use a sledge-hammer when a tapping-hammer will do.  To give you more, you would need to take our course or read our book, which incidentally can be found at http://www.aggressionmanagement.com/Before_Conflict,_the_book.htm

  6. Thank you for visiting my website. Your comments advocating the use of true “hostile intent” through the “continuum of aggressive behavior” to identify potential terrorists are excellent. My concern is the extent of the training needed to be effective in the recognition of these behavioral symptoms. I don’t believe that I would feel safe relying on this method alone, while considering the number and ethnicity of the agents around the world. Certainly profiling of a sort should have a place in the attempt to protect our people against this terrorist threat.

  7. John D Byrnes

    You training concerns are valid, which is why we developed AMIS (Aggression Management Intervention System) so as to offer a practical and scalable operational method.  In this system we have three components: 1) First Observers represent the eyes and ears of any organization. In as little as half-day training these responsible individuals are taught the key precursor indicators of an emerging murderer or perpetrator of murder/suicide, i.e.  Levels 7, 8 and 9 of our Cognitive Aggression Continuum.  2) Qualified Responders represent a small group of individuals trained to measure emerging aggression, engage it and maximize their ability to defuse it. 3) They will also be trained in the Third Component, the Objective Recording Device and Aggressionometer.  This is a computer software platform with two key purposes: a) the Aggressionometer is a dropdown device that enables both Observers and Responders to communicate in Objective Observables maximizing their defusing outcomes and the safety of their venue. b) The second element is the Objective Recording Device which illustrates that the Observers and Responders have acted objectively and therefore professionally and finally, with compilation of this data is the opportunity to defend their actions taken or “Legal Defensibility.”

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    AMIS has never been intended to act alone but as an element integrated with all other current methods.  There is a significant gap today and AMIS fills that gap.  As to profiling, please remember that profiling tells us that within a certain group of individuals there is a higher probability of the terrorist; it does not tell us who the next terrorist is! Hence its shortcomings!

  8. I can see that you are an expert in this field! I am launching a website soon, and this information is very useful for me. Thanks for all your help and wishing you all the success in your business.

  9. Man you are a genius , thanks for clarifying this! however i have to say ! i do not agree with all you convey. Last day I come back from a elongated trip, i was traveling for about 6 months around the globe.  I have viewed a lot of good and harmful things. The sad life of humanity, the sadness and happiness the animal and cruel side of mankind.

  10. John D. Byrnes

    Thank you for your kind words, I have come to realize that there are those who live or have experienced man’s inhumanity toward men. Sometimes these inhumane actions progress over time without intervention because there are no responsible humans measuring and thereby preventing aggression around them.  It continues to intrigue me that most humans don’t realize that levels 1 – 3 are even considered aggressive behavior and when an aggressor become overt, they wonder where all of that aggression came from.  Only when you are measuring aggression can you best prevent aggression.

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