Definition of Scapegoat, Scapegoating, and Scapegoat Theory
The scapegoat theory is a psychological term that refers to the tendency of people to direct their anger and frustration toward someone or something else instead of taking personal responsibility for their actions. The term is derived from King Saul’s Old Testament story and punishment for the blind man, Ananias. Saul blamed Ananias for his blindness and sought to punish him instead of accepting responsibility for his actions.
Scapegoating is a common occurrence in human societies. It is often used as a way to release anger and frustration. It is also used as a way to divert attention from the individual who is being scapegoated.
The scapegoat theory is believed to be based on the observation that people are generally reluctant to take responsibility for their actions. Therefore, when something goes wrong, instead of looking inward, people often look for someone or something else to blame. This allows people to avoid taking responsibility for their actions.
The scapegoat theory has been observed in various contexts. It is often used to explain the behavior of people who commit crimes. It is also used to explain the behavior of people who are scapegoated.