PSYCH 2C03 Lecture Notes - Chronic Pain, Wild Night, Spreading Activation

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Published on 22 Apr 2013
McMaster University
The great debate
To what extent is aggression a rational response?
The Frustration-Aggression hypothesis
Miller and Dollard, Yale group
Why does aggression happen?
Starting point: strawman hypothesis--frustration aggression hypothesis
Says three things
1. Frustration will always lead to aggression
2. If someone has aggressed it is because they have been frustrated
Aggression does not cause frustration***
3. And there is nothing anyone can do about it it is a completely irrational response
Heat and aggression
Research suggests that they have a very close relationship between frustration and aggression
Research support
Lab experiments
People in hot rooms will be more aggressive than people in comfortable rooms
Heat and electiric shot punishments
More likely to electrically shock when in heat
Any animal who is hot temperature and put them into a cage with another animal they will
be a lot more aggressive
Archival data
Happen mostly in the summer
More south in the states
The hotter it is the more likely the riot is lieky to happen and escalate
Above 90 degrees riots get incredibly violent than in the low 20degreess
Frustration of being hot
Baseball violance (refman et al. 1991)
He gathered data from games in 60s and 80s both data are same
In 80s -850games, how hot was it at the time of game, he looked up number of batters
hit by pitchers and varied that with temperature
And he looked at other things just incase (was the pitcher just have a wild night? )
Number of home runs
How many people attended the game-arousal level goes up you get clumsy
He controleld for all these things
Then having controlled for these things they found, you likelyhood of being hit by a
pitch goes up by 65%
Pitchers who were too hot, they were hitting batters more often than when the game
was less hot
Significant results
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Field experiments
When your driving and something irritating happens you get the urge to press the horn,
that is aggression because you are doing it in negative intentions
Looked at horn honking and heat (kenrick and Mecharlene, 1986)
No one can get around you, stall the car on purpose, green light comes on and
you are not going to move for the whoel green light (12s) and see what the
people behind you do
There attention was on the first person behind the car that stopped
How long it took to honk their horn
Duration of horn honking
Time spent honking the horn
They guessed approximate age, gender, how many people were behind them, **were
there windows up or down**
Windows down means no a/c in car
Windows up means a/c on
You find a correlation of .34 highly sig
When they had a/c (windows up) theyre was no correlation at all (0)
Windows down (.76 correlation) huge correlation these were the people who were engaging
in the honking not the ones with a/c
Another inteeresting results if tempture was beyond 100, 34% of subjects who sued horns
leaned on their horns for more than 6s of the 12s
If temp was below 90% 0% spent less than 6s leaning on their horns
It’s an aggressive act becaue you know honking your horn is not going to move a car so your
intentionally agressively honking ur horn
Pain and aggression
Research support
Non-human animal literautre
Rats mice, electrify their cage floor and zap them after that they will tackle one another,
you've caused them pain=frustration and taken it out on another creature
Human literature
Pain patients and anger
Chronic pain-- patients are more aggressive, than non chronic pain patients
Experimental findings
Berkowitz et a (1981)
Iv: pain
Used study where someone was going to come up with business solutions and
someone was going to rate those solutions
They thought they were randomly assigned to those who gave solutions
Subjects seem to believe cover story
Manipulate pain-subjects told subjects to put their hand sin luke warm water
And some were told to put it in ice cold water (painful)
Pain is frustrating u would expect that people in icewater would be more aggressive
And that is what we find
DV: mean number of rewards/punishments given
Subjects can give reward or punishment (blast music)
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Luke warm water: rewards were significantly given more than punishments
Ice water: still give out more rewards but significantly fewer rewards compared to luke
warm and significantly higher punishments than those who put their hands in luke
warm water
They were frustrated and so they had to aggression
Effects of Rational Thought
Can we overcome this aggressive response?
Sure there may be a relationship between frustration and agression but can we control this?
Justification affects extent to which frustrating events produce anger
Pastore (1952)
If its justified we are less angered less frustrated than when it is unjustified
Ex. Going to a party: waiting for the bus, getting late and the bus wasn’t coming,
in ghetto in street corner feeling unhappy
Weather was decent
Bus was coming along and girl was really happy, bus driving looked at girl and bus
just drove by
Girl kicked something and very angered
But if her bus said "out of service" then the frustrating event is justified
You can accept it and your response isnt going to be as violent
We think this is the rational thought
We give justifications to ourselves to reduce the anger by thinking it
through=rational thought
Pastore did a scenario study
IV: frustrating event is justified vs unjustified
DV: how they reacted 1-5
Dv is anger not aggression
Justified vs.. Unjustified
Has subject read 16 senarios
And had them write how anger they would be if this happened to you
Rated 1-5
Side note:
Anger and aggression are different things**
Anger is not a perfect predictor of aggression**
Back to ex
They were just slightly on the angry point (3) when it was justified
When it wasn’t unjustified they were really angry (5)
- That piece of information to why it happened you can interupt and overriding the
thought of anger with
Everyone is still angry but we can control the extend to the amount of anger we feel
Therefore Modify our behaviour response aggression
This work for both males and females
Effects of rational thought 2
Intent affects response to frustrating events
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