Document Type : Systematic review


Consultant General Adult Psychiatrist, Lancashire, and South Cumbria NHS Trust, Preston, United Kingdom



Objectives: Hatred may affect the mental health of oneself or of others. This article aims to explore what information canbe obtained from the medical literature to understand the reasons regarding the generation of hatred in human beings.
Methods: Systematic search of medical literature was carried out on the PubMed medical library to identify articles that deal with the subject matter of hatred. Articles included were those added to the PubMed library in 2015 and onwards till the date of data collection. Included articles were divided into ten categories according to the aspect of hatred discussed.Full text search of those articles was carried out that were identified under the category of ‘generation of hatred’ was carriedout. Data was collected to understand the generation of hatred by carrying out a thematic analysis.
Results: The word hatred is used in a variety of meanings in medical literature. Medical researchers utilise a variety of methods and take several different kinds of approaches to understand various aspects of development of hatred. Hatred is a mindset that people can develop for several reasons. Hatred can take a focus towards one’s own self, towards inanimate objects or towards other people. Stressful events, personal interpretations, group interpretations and real or virtual life environmental factors are some of the major reasons that may contribute towards the generation of hatred.
Conclusion: Findings from this literature search suggest that there is no single pattern or theory that can fully explainthe development of hatred in humans: hateful mindsets can manifest in numerous ways. Each manifestation can be understood in its unique context and background. There seem to be some common external and internal factors that are recurrently identified across the studies that tend to play a role towards its generation. Some of the internal reasons that may lead to development of hatred include personal attitudes, negative cognitions, negative feelings, and individual motivations of the hater etc. Some of the external reasons may include suffering sexual abuse, negative life experiences and exposure to online hateful activities on social media etc.


Main Subjects