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march 22 2012- psych 215.docx

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McGill University
PSYC 215
Michael Sullivan

Thursday, March 22nd, 2012 Frustration: Aggression as a Drive Put together in the late 30s, early 40s. It suggested that frustration was the emotion that people will experience when their progress towards a goal was somehow compromised. They thought that this frustration would somehow make them aggress. Example: road rage. According to this model, all aggression was caused by frustration. It was thought that what aggression did was to reduce the drive that was created by frustration (there was a cathartic element to it). Agression could be towards the source of the frustration, or displaced. Displacement could occur when it was not safe to be aggressing against the target of the frustration. This also served the purpose of reducing the drive to aggress further. This letting out of one’s anger was called “catharsis”, and was defined as the reduction in one’s need to aggress further. Figure 10-2 We begin with a goal-pursuit that leads to frustration. This experience in frustration leads to the drive to aggress. If you are able to aggress against the target of your aggression, you have a direct expression of your aggression. But if you are in a situation where you cannot aggress at the target, it is displaced to another target or it can go inwards. This can take the form of self-harm behaviours such as suicide. The proponents of this model tried to find examples in the real world where a link explained the phenomena. One of the things that they looked at was the relationship between heat and violence. The Link Between Heat and Violence We know that if we are in a hot environment, this will be associated with negative feelings. At hot times, according to the frustration:aggression theory, your threshold for aggression will be lower. When they looked at different examples of aggression, regardless of the type of aggressive act we are looking at, in countries where there are seasons that vary in terms of temperature, these aggressive acts are most common in the warmest season and least common in the coldest seasons. Frustration: Aggression Hypothesis: Does the Research Support it? + Next Slide In the last 80s, Burkowitz proposed a revision to the theory, stating that frustration is one of the many emotions that could lead to aggression. He suggested that the precursor to aggression is some kind of negative feeling, but there are other feelings like this other than frustration. It is this negative feeling that leads to aggression. Influences on Aggression Intensity of emotional arousal is a key determinant in whether aggression occurs or not. Example: the experiment described earlier in class with one group crossing a swinging bridge and another corssing a stable one. Anxiety felt was transferred to sexual arousal towards the experimentor. When there is a mismatch between the intensity of the event and the intensity of the re
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