Steven Pinker Chapter 16: Politics Chapter 17: Violence . Greta Kent-Stoll Brooke Porter. Chapter 16: Politics. Intellectual conceptions of human nature lead to political ideologies ranging from right to left How is society conceptualized? . Social Contract
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Steven PinkerChapter 16: PoliticsChapter 17: Violence
“The story of the human race is war. Except for brief and precarious interludes there has never been peace in the world; and long before history began murderous strife was universal and unending.”
– Winston Churchill
Journalist Alfie Kohn attributed the Oklahoma City bombing to American Individualism: “We have a cultural addiction to competition in this country. We’re taught in classrooms and playing fields that other people are obstacles to our own success” (pp. 309).
Another explanation of the bombing put the blame on American symbols: national seal, state mottoes.
New Hampshire: “Live Free or Die”
Massachusetts: “With the sword, we seek peace, but under liberty”
Not based on any sound research
Aggressive parents often have aggressive children: These tendencies may not be just learned, but inherent as well
Guns make it easier for people to kill: Maine and North Dakota have the lowest homicide rates, but almost every home has a gun
Media violence – glorified violence and murder
Violent children seek out violent entertainment; children are aroused by action-packed footage
American media and media violence is a major cause of American violent crime
Investigation: 200 studies looked for a connection between media violence and violent behavior, and more than half failed to find one.
Exposure to media violence has little or no effect on violent behavior in the world
Canadians watch the same television shows as Americans but have a fourth of their homicide rate