11. Aggression. What is the Nature of Aggression?. Aggression is behavior that intends to harm another individual Can be either verbal or physical actions Is sometimes used to release frustration or address conflict. What is the Nature of Aggression?.
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What is the Nature of Aggression? • Aggression is behavior that intends to harm another individual • Can be either verbal or physical actions • Is sometimes used to release frustration or address conflict
What is the Nature of Aggression? Hostile aggression – the goal is suffering for the victim Instrumental aggression – the goal is "non-injurious" but the acts serve a different purpose
Armed robbery is a form of instrumental aggression, as the primary goal is obtain money, not to harm another.
Gender Differences • Males tend more toward hostile aggression than females • Females tend more toward relational aggression than males • Males are also more often the victims of aggression
Gender Differences (continued) • The research shows, however, overall differences in "aggression" are not that big (including all forms of aggression) • Provocation is a big factor
Gender Differences (continued) • The type of aggression affects gender differences • Direct – clearly derived from aggressor, aimed at victim • Indirect – not clearly derived from aggressor, victim is unclear • Expressive view of aggression – aggression is used to express anger and reduce stress
Types of Aggression. Aggression can be a combination of direct, indirect, verbal, and physical behavior.
Cultural Differences • In "cultures of honor," aggression may be necessary for survival • Even within the same country there may be different cultures of aggression
Cultural Differences (continued) Cultures of honor often lack strong law, stability, and security “Honor killings" - a person members is killed for shaming the family
Is aggression human nature or learned behavior • Thomas Hobbes (1588-1679) • People are inherently bad • John Locke (1632-1704) • People are inherently neutral (tabula rasa) • Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1712-1778) • People are inherently good
Instinct Theories • In Sigmund Freud’s view, from the moment of conception, we carry within us both an urge to create (eros) and an urge to destroy (thanatos). • The innate urge to destroy, or death instinct, is as natural as our need to breathe.
Instinct Theories • In Konrad Lorenz’s (1966) view, human beings are born with an instinct to fight • This instinct served both the individual need to survive and the survival of the species • With the ability to manufacture weapons this instinct changed and aggression became an evolutionary adaptation
Biological Theories: Twins • Karl Christiansen (1977) analyzed eight hundred pairs of twins • His results showed a concordance rate in identical twins more than twice that of fraternal twins • The concordance rate was highest when the crime involved another person rather than property
Genetic Theories Genetics A tendency toward aggression can be genetic Some research has found a defective gene on the X chromosome Activity in the left temporal lobe can also impact levels of aggression
Genetic Theories Genetics Biochemical influences Alcohol – need we say more? Hormones Testosterone levels are often higher in those who commit violent crimes Affects mostly men, but can also impact women Neurotransmitters – low levels of serotonin are often found in violence-prone children and adults
Temperature and Aggression • A number of studies indicate that there is an association between temperature and the likelihood of aggression. • Riots were more likely on hot days • Violent crimes occur more frequently in hotter cities • In major league baseball the number of batters hit by a pitch rose with the temperature
Excitation Transfer Theory • Dolph Zillmann (1983) proposed that excitement (or arousal) at one point in time can be transferred to aggression at another point in time • A good workout can produce physiological effects similar to aggression • If an incident occurs in close proximity in time to the workout, the physical effects can be transferred into aggression
The Frustration-Aggression Hypothesis • Frustration occurs when something prevents us from enjoying an expected reward • Aggression is usually directed at the caused of the interference • Displacement occurs when the source of frustration is perceived as unapproachable and another target becomes available
Displaced Aggression • The fact that those who provoke us often have the power to retaliate gives rise to the idea of displaced aggression. • Displaced aggression is defined as aggression toward a target that exceeds what is justified by provocation by that target. • Instigated by a different source, the aggression is displaced onto a less powerful or more available target.
Cues for Aggression • Leonard Berkowitz (1965) argued that cues within the immediate environment play a role in determining the kind of response that follows frustration • The mere presence of aggressive cues led to more aggressive behavior
Aversive Emotional Arousal • Aggressive behavior is a response to aversive emotional arousal, such as anger. • Accidents, insults, and attacks all arouse aversive affect—negative affect that people seek to reduce or eliminate.
Social Learning and Aggression • Albert Bandura (and colleagues) used the now famous Bobo doll to demonstrate how children can learn aggressive behavior by watching adults. • Two processes by which aggression can be learned are imitation and reinforcement.
Social Learning (continued) • Reinforcement • An action or process that strengthens a behavior • A reward • We often think of aggression as being punished, but often it is rewarded • Reinforcement comes from different sources • Parents, peers, television, video games, movies
General Aggression Model (GAM) • Two types of input can trigger blatant aggression • Factors related to the current situation • Factors related to the individual (personal factors) • Situational factors must affect the affective, cognitive, and arousal states • The personal factors can then lead to thoughtful or impulsive (aggressive) actions
The General Aggression Model. The General Aggression Model (GAM) looks at the person in the given situation. It proposes that aggression is affected by several factors, including current internal state, personal understanding, and decision making.
What Influences Aggression? • Arousal • Physical arousal has the capacity to increase our potential for aggression • Schachter and Singer (1962) • Physical arousal is the same with different emotions • We label the arousal based on situational information • This arousal can lead to aggression if we label events as being negative
Media Violence • Is there a relationship between media and violence? Yes, butﾉ • The relationship may or may not be causal
Media Violence Models aggression – the characters we watch/idolize may model aggression primes aggression – media causes us to "think" violently Repeated exposure to violence – desensitization can occur
Reports from the Kaiser Foundation state that 81 percent of parents have seen their children model either positive (e.g., helping) or aggressive (e.g., punching or hitting) behaviors from TV.
How can We Reduce Aggression? • Punishment – may work slightly, but is not completely effective by itself • Modeling non-aggression • When kids have non-aggressive role models, their behaviors become less aggressive
How can We Reduce Aggression? Training Preventing aggression before it happens by teaching non-violent problem-solving and conflict resolution skills Action learning: Reducing aggression