is intentional behaviour aimed at causing either physical or psychological pain.
is an act of aggression stemming from feelings of anger and aimed at inflicting pain.
is aggression as a means to some goal other than causing pain.
Sigmund Freud (1930) theorized that human beings are born with:
-An instinct towards life, called Eros.
- A death or aggressive instinct, called Thanatos.
-According to Freud, aggressive energy must come out somehow or it will continue to build up and produce illness.
Is Aggression: Instinctual? Situational? Optional?
Evolutionary Psychologists believe?
that men are genetically programmed to be aggressive so that women will choose them for their superior genes and so that they can ensure their paternity.
Aggressiveness has evolved and maintained because it has survival value.
Yet nearly all organisms seem to have evolved strong inhibitory mechanisms, enabling them to suppress aggression.
Human cultures vary widely in the degree of aggressiveness:
- European history is marked by frequent wars.
-In some cultures, such as the Efe (Democratic Republic of Congo), acts of aggression are extremely rare.
is an area in the core of the brain that is associated with aggressive behaviour.
is a chemical in the brain that may inhibit aggressive behaviours.
is a male sex hormone associated with aggression.
Gender & Aggression Research has shown that:
-Men are much more aggressive than women under ordinary circumstances. Women express their aggression more covertly.
-The gender difference becomes smaller when men and women are provoked.
-In Canada the rate of violent crime by females almost doubled in the past 20 years.
Alcohol can lead to aggression by:
-Reducing our inhibitions so that we are more likely to perform behaviours that we would normally keep in check.
-Lowering our threshold for aggressive behaviour.
-Interfering with our ability to consider the consequences of our actions.
Pain, Discomfort and Aggression
Pain and other physical discomforts, such as heat, humidity, air pollution, and offensive odours, can lower the threshold for aggressive behaviour.
Frustration occurs when:
A person is prevented from achieving an expected goal or gratification.
Frustration-aggression theory suggests:
People’s perception that they are being prevented from obtaining a goal will increase the probability of an aggressive response.
What causes aggression is not deprivation, but relative deprivation
the perception that you (or your group) do not have what you deserve, you expected more, or people similar to you have more than you have.
Direct Provocation & Reciprocation
People usually feel the urge to reciprocate, after being provoked by aggressive behaviour from another person.
People do not retaliate, if they think the provocation was unintentional or if they think there are mitigating circumstances, which are known at the time of the provocation.
Being excluded from a group of peers can lead to considerable aggression (Twenge et al., 2001).
This may explain why a child experiencing rejection from classmates on a daily basis ends up reacting with extreme aggression.
Social exclusion can also motivate us to form new social bonds
An aggressive stimulus
is an object that is associated with aggressive response (e.g., a gun) and whose mere presence can increase the probability of aggression.
The social learning theory
suggests that we learn social behaviours, such as aggression, by observing others and imitating them.
The Effects of Violence in the Media
Violence in the media leads to greater aggressiveness in the viewer and a numbing effect, making the viewer more accepting of violence in society.
Watching a lot of violent television can exaggerate the degree of danger in the world.
The reasons why exposure to violence might increase aggression are:
“If they can do it, so can I.”
“Oh, so that’s how you do it.”
“It must be aggressive feelings that I’m experiencing.”
“Ho-hum, another brutal beating—what’s on the other channel?”
“I better get him before he gets me!”
The viewing of violent pornographic material increases the rate of:
Acceptance of sexual violence towards women.
Aggressive behaviour toward women.
Punishment can reduce aggressive behaviour if it:
Is not too severe.
Follows closely on the heels of the aggressive act.
is the notion that “getting it out of your system” (by performing an aggressive act or watching others engage in aggressive behaviours) will relieve built-up aggressive energy and reduces the likelihood of further aggressive behaviour.
The research demonstrates that playing aggressive sports or watching aggressive behaviour actually increases aggression.
Once one aggresses against someone else, s/he:
Experiences cognitive dissonance.
Tends to derogate the victim to justify the act of cruelty and reduce dissonance.
Some strategies that can be used to deal with anger are:
Venting vs. self awareness.
Diffusing anger through apology.
Training in communication and problem-solving skills.