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PSYCH 2AA3 (402)


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Richard B Day

June 6 , 2013 Psych 2AA3: Child Development Aggression Origins of Aggression - Film – “Origins of Human Aggression” – National Film Board of Canada 2005 - Tremblay  Aggression present from infancy  Development of angry reactions  5-6 early emotional expressions: disgust, sadness, interest, happiness  At 9 months: exploratory aggression, when they begin to crawl  Peaks at 2 years, declines at 4  2 years: spontaneous rage  3 years: posses motor development enabling them to partake in aggressive behaviours  Age 4: aggression decreases and using indirect aggression or social aggression  What provokes anger:  Minimal acts which trigger anger  Parent’s react  Evolution favours aggression  Temperament is determined by genes and has an influence on aggression  Accelerator: seeks thrills  Brake: creates fear  Brain development during the first 4 years of life  Desire to make friends helps resolve conflicts  Resolution after a conflict is behaviour common to all social animals  Wanting to be part of the group forces the brain to develop ways to resolve conflict  Using other techniques to forestall a temper tantrum  15 months: development of self-awareness  Develop emotions such as pride and embarrassment which help hold in check their behaviours but are also new sources of behaviours and tantrums  Neural circuits to regulate emotion are not developed  Play fighting  Can be useful to a child’s development as they discover limits, whether aggressive acts are acceptable, requires compromises, distribution of strength, and control of behaviour  Discipline plays a vital role in eliminating aggressive behaviour  Children who are hit are more likely to be hit later on and is a predictor of later criminality  Structure and functioning of the brain’s of murderers  Much cooler functioning in the prefrontal cortex  Part of the brain which is most evolved, control in regulating more primitive brain structures where aggressive reactions originate  Consumption of toxics during pregnancy is correlated to aggressivity  Nicotine exposures interfere with the development of the brain  Shaken baby syndrome leads to damage in prefrontal cortex  Like to care as infants and stimulation early in life  25% of 2 year old’s social interactions are aggressive True or False 1. Two-year-olds display more acts of physical aggression when compared to four-year-olds  TRUE 2. Individuals with high levels of serotonin are more likely to display aggressive behaviours  FALSE: low levels of serotonin 3. Terrible-two tantrums are strong indicators of future violent behaviours in adulthood  FALSE 4. The prefrontal cortex is an important brain structure related to control aggressive or anti social behaviours  TRUE Aggression as a Human Condition - Poignant examples of violence and aggression in society:  War is characteristic of civilizations  Genocide  Mob violence (not authority conducted)  Violent sports (e.g. boxing) - Is aggressive behaviour innate or learned? Is Exposure to Violence Good or Bad? - Exposure to violence might be cathartic (Freud)  Witnessing violence leads to a decrease as it drains your aggressive drive - But, children learn much through imitation  Important early in development - Social learning theory (Bandura)  Exposure to violence sets precedent  Because we learn through imitation it sets a precedent that these behaviours are okay  Positively or negatively reinforced  Get what they want/get away with it reinforces behaviour “Bobo Doll” Experiments - 3 and 6 year olds - Boys and girls - Assigned to aggressive or non-aggressive role models - Watch video - Balance in same and opposite gender role models - Aggressive role models: display physical and verbal aggression towards the doll  Increased attraction to guns even though it was not modelled  Pick up on aggressive language - Non-aggressive: adult ignores the doll and plays with other toys Observing Violence Leads to Violence - Aggressive role model vs. non-aggressive role models - Observing violence lead to children displaying more aggressive behaviours towards the bobo doll - If the role model was the same gend
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