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Lecture

Aggression.doc

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Department
Psychology
Course Code
PSYC 1000
Professor
Linda Hunter

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Aggression, Altruism, and Moral Development - moral principles hoped to instill, new parents provided answers which fell into a few categories -Avoid hurting others. -Prosocial concern. altruism- selfless concern for welfare of other people and willingness to act on that concern. -A personal commitment to abide by rules. -children to comply w/ socially condoned rules of conduct and monitoring behaviour to ensure that these rules followed -ultimate goal of moral socialization : help child acquire set of personal values, or etrucal principles, that enable to distinguish right from wrong and to do "right" things, even when no one is present to monitor conduct The Development of Aggression -behav1our performed w/ intent1on of harming living being motivated to avoid this treatment -intent defines an act as "aggressive," not act's consequences -hostile aggression and instrumental aggression. -hostile aggression aggressive acts for which perpetrator's major goal is to harm or injure a victim. -in strumental aggression aggressive acts for which tperpetrator's major goal is to gain access to objects, space, or privileges. -person's ultimate goal harm a victim, behaviour qualifies as hostile aggression. -Instrumental aggression describes situations which one person harms another as means to some other end Origins of Aggression in Infancy -1-year-old infants quite forceful w/ each other when one infant controls a toy other wants -duplicate toysavailable, 12-month-olds occasionally ignored unused objecttooverpower peer in order to control child's toy. -intimidators in tussles appeared to be treating other child as adversary rather than an inanimate obstacle, implying seeds of instrumental aggression already sown by end of the first yea -2-year- more likely than 1-year-olds to resolve disputes by negotiating and sharing than by fighting -conflict circumstances which two (or more) persons incompatible needs, desires, or goals -need not be training grounds for aggression can be adaptive, serving as context which infants, toddlers, and preschool children can letonegotiate and achieve aims without resorting to shows of force -Japanese mothers intolerant of harmdoing , encourage children to suppress anger in interest of promoting social harmony -Japanese preschoolers less angered by interpersonal conflicts and less likely to respond aggressively Developmental Trends in Aggression -character of children's aggression changes dramatically with age -unfocused temper tantrums become less common b/w ages2 an d3 children began to physically retaliate when playmates frustrate or attack -ages 3 and5,replaced byteasing, tattling, name-calling, and other forms of verbal aggression -fought most often over toys and other possessions, aggression was mainly instrumental -some level of physical aggression relatively normal early toddlerhood, most children type of aggression is relatively rare by middle childhood -small group of children problems w/ displays of physical aggression that remain relatively stable into middle childhood , may be cause for concern in development -overall incidence of physical and verbal aggression declines as children learn to settle most disputes in amicable ways -hostile aggression increases slightly, even as instrumental aggression less common -Why? older children becoming better at recognizing when someone is trying to harm them, sometimes strike back against the harm doer -elementary school children reluctant to condemn retaliatory aggression, Sex Differences -boys and men more physically and more verbally aggressive, on average, girls and women -very young boys not more aggressive than girls -not until age 1/z to 3 sex differences in aggression e reliable, clearly enough time for gender-typing to have steered boys and girls in different directions -What social influences might conspire to make boys more aggressive than girls? -parents play rougher with boys ; react negatively to aggressive behaviours of daughters than sons -guns, tanks, missile launchers, other symbolic implements of destruction boys receive encourage enactment of aggressive themes -children come to view aggression as male attribute in gender schemas, middle childhood, boys expect aggressive acts to provide them w/ more tangible benefits and elicit less disapproval from either parents or peers than girls do -investigators believe boys may appear more aggressive than girls researchers focused on overt aggressive behaviours have failed to consider covertly hostile acts may be more common among girls than boys From Aggression to Antisocial Conduct -Relational aggression in girls more subtle and malicious during adolescent years -teenage boys inclined to express anger and frustrations indirectly through such acts as theft, truancy, substance abuse, and sexual misconduct -adolescents becoming less overtly aggressive may simply turn to forms of antisocial conduct to express their discontent. Is Aggression a Stable Attribute? -reasonably stable attribute -aggressive toddlers likely become aggressive 5-year-olds - longitudinal research reveals that amount of moody, ill-tempered, and aggressive behaviour children display between ages 3 and 10 fa irly good predictor of aggressive or other antisocial inclinations later in life -regardless of genetic predispositions, other children remain highly aggressive because raised in home environments that nurture and maintain aggressive habits Individual Differences in Aggressive Behaviour -only small percentage described as chronically aggressive. -small minority of youngsters involved in large majority of the conflicts -participants handful of highly aggressive instigators and 10 to 15 % of classmates regularly abused by these bullies -Compared w/ nonaggressive youngsters, proactive aggressors confident aggression will "pay off" in tangible benefits inclined to believe that they can enhance self-esteem by dominating other children, who generally submit to them before any serious harm has been done -Reactive aggressors display high levels of hostile, retaliatory aggression. - quite suspicious and wary of other people, often viewing them belligerent adversaries who deserve to be dealt with in forceful manner Dodge's Social Information-Processing Theory of Aggression - Six Steps -youngster harmed first encodes and interprets available social cues. -After interpreting meaning of cues, child formulates a goal -generates and evaluates possible strategies for achieving goal, -selects and enacts a response -proposes = child's mental state- past social experiences, social expectancies (especially those involving harmdoing), knowledge of social rules, emotional reactivity, ability to regulate emotions-can influence any of model's six phases -mental states of reactive aggressors, who have a history of bickering with peers, likely to include expectancy "others are hostile to me. -harmed under ambiguous circumstances more inclined than nonaggressive children - (1)search for and find cues compatible with expectancy, - (2)attribute hostile intent to harmdoer, (3) become very angry and quickly retaliate in hostile manner w/o carefully considering nonaggressive solutions to problem -reactive aggressors over attribute hostile intent to peers by virtue of their own hostile retaliations these children have negative experiences w/ teachers and peers -reinforcing expectancy "others are hostile to me." -Girls can be reactively aggressive as boys, displaying same kind of hostile attributional bias and strong readiness to react aggressively to ambiguous harmdoing -Proactive aggressors display different pattern of social information processing -youngsters do not feel especially disliked may have many friends -not quick to incline to attribute hostile intent - they don't let it slide rather calculate an instrumental goal , cooly and consciously decide aggression is the most effective means to deal with the situation -likely to display such positive emotions as happiness during aggressive encounters with peers -mental states favour aggressive solutions toconflict expect positive outcomes to result from use of force -Perpetrators and Victims of Peer Aggression - playground observation : episode of bullying occurred approximately every seven minutes -Habitual bullies often observed adult conflict and aggression at home but rarely themselves been target of aggression - home experiences suggest aggression pays off for perpetrator, come to view victims as "easy marks" who will surrender tangible resources or otherwise submit dominance w/o putting up much of fight. -So bullies appear to harass their victims for personal or instrumental reasons -passive victims socially withdrawn, sedentary, physically weak, reluctant to fight back, appear to do little (other than being "easy marks") to invite hostilities receivw -Passively victimized boys often had close, overprotective relationships w/ mothers which they encouraged to voice fears and self-doubts-practices generally discouraged of boys as part of masculine gender typing , not well received by male classmates -provocative victims- oppositional, restless, and hot-tempered individuals often irritate peers, inclined to fight back (unsuccessfully), display hostile attribution bias characterizes reactive aggressors. -often physically abused or otherwise victimized at home , learned from experiences to view other people as hostile adversaries -children & adolescents who become chronic victims continue victimized, especially if blame themselves for their victimization and e no friends to stick up for them and help them acquire social skills -risk for variety of adjustment problems, inc loneliness, anxiety, depression, erosion of self-esteem, growing dislike for and avoidance of school Cultural and Subcultural Influences on Aggression -some societies and subcultures more violent and aggressive than others. -some peeps hunt with weapons but not interpersonal aggressive -peace-loving societies invaded by outsiders, members retreat to inaccessible regions rather than stand and fight -Gebusi of Papi New Gunia - way more murder than the USA -United States is also "aggressive" society. % basis, incidence of rape, homicide, and assault higher in United States than any other industrialized nation, United States ranks close second to Spain (and far above third-place Canada) in armed robbery -United States and England point to social class differences in aggression: -children and adolescents from lower socioeconomic strata (SES), partic males from larger urban areas, exhibit more aggressive behaviour , higher levels of delinquency than age-mates from middle class -closely linked tosocial class differences in child rearing. - parents of Low SES more inclined to use physical punishment to discipline aggression and defiance -inclined to endorse aggressive solutions to conflict , encourage their children to respond forcefully when provoked -often live complex stressful lives that may make it difficult manage or monitor children's whereabouts, activities, and choice of friends -person's aggressive and antisocial inclinations depen on extent which culture or subculture condones or fails to discourage such behaviour -highly aggressive children often live in homes described as "breeding grounds" for hostile, antisocial conduct. Coercive Home Environments: Breeding Grounds for Aggression Families as Social Systems -highly aggressive children lived in atypical family environments characterized by social climate that they had helped to create -usually lived in setting in family members constantly bickering , reluctant to initiate conversations, did talk, tended to needle, threaten, or otherwise irritate other family members rather conversing amiably -coercive home environments : high percentage of interactions centred on one family member's attempts to force another to stop irritating him or her. - negative reinforcement important in maintaining coercive interactions: when one family member makes life unpleasant for another, second learns to whine, yell, scream, tease, or hit because actions often force antagonist to stop -Mothers of problem children rarely use social approval as means of behaviour control, choosing largely ignore prosocial conduct, to interpret many innocuous acts as antisocial, rely almost exclusively on coercive tactics to deal w/ perceived misconduct -helps explain why generally mistrust other people , display hostile attribution bias commonly observed among highly aggressive children -flow of influence in family setting is multidirectional: Coercive interactions b/w parents and children and children themselves affect behaviour of all parties and contribute to development of hostile family environment- -problem families may never break out of destructive pattern of attacking and counterattacking one another Methods of Controlling Aggression in Young Children Creating Nonaggressive Environments -create play areas minimize the likelihood of conflict. - buy non aggressive theme toys -provide ample play area - provide enough toys and eliminate elements of competition for them Eliminating the Payoffs for Aggression - different forms of aggression may need different interventions - effective intervention teach them aggression doesn't pay , alternative prosocial responses, such as cooperation or sharing, are better -reduce incidence of proactive aggression by identifying eliminating reinforcing consequences and encouraging alternative means of achieving one's objectives. - if child hits another for a toy , adult can rectify the issue showing agression doesn't pay by returning the toy to child who first had it - doesn't work if person uses aggression as a means to attain attention -incompatible-response technique strategy of ignoring all but most serious aggressive antics (thereby denying an "attentional" reward) -time-out technique adult removes offender from situation which aggression is reinforced (sending him to his room until he is ready to behave appropriately) -controlling children's hostilities when adults also reinforce cooperative or helpful acts incompatible w/ aggression Social-Cognitive Interventions -Highly aggressive youngsters, those high in reactive aggression, profit from social-cognitive interventions that help them (1)regulate anger (2)become more skilled empathizing w/ , taking others' perspectives so they will not be so likely to over-attribute hostile intentions to peers -highly aggressive children often found deficient in empathy- social-cognitive attribute parents easily foster by modelling empathic concern using disciplinary techniques tha -t (1) point out harmful consequences of child's aggressive acts while (2) encouraging to put themselves in victim's place and imagine how the victim feels. Altruism: Development of the Prosocial Self - altruism- genuine concern for welfare of other people and willingness to act on that concern Origins of Altruism -Twelve- to 18-month-olds, occasionally offer toys to companions attempt to help parents w/ small chores -2-year-olds more likely offer toys topeer when playthings scarce rather than plentiful - differences due to temperamental variations -2-year-olds behaviourally inhibited likely to become highly upset by others' distress , more likely than uninhibited toddlerstoturn away from distressed acquaintance in attempt to regulate arousal -Individual differences in early compassion depend on parents' reactions to occasions which toddler harmed another child. -mothers of less compassionate toddlers typically used coercive tactics verbal rebukes or physical punistoent discipline aggression. - mothers of highly compassionate toddlers frequently disciplined harmdoing w/ affective explanations that may foster sympathy Developmental Trends in Altruism -2- to 3-year-olds show sympathy and compassion toward distressed companions, not particularly eager to make truly self- sacrificial responses, sharing treasured toy w/ peer. -Sharing and benevolent acts are more likely to occur if adults instruct toddler to consider others' needs or if peer ctively elicits sharing through request or threat of some kind, "I won't be your friend if you won't gimme some" -spontaneous self-sacrifice in interest of others relatively infrequent among toddlers and young preschool children -21,- to 31,-year-olds often took pleasure performing acts of kindness for others during preten4-pto 6- year-olds performed more real helping acts rarely "play-acted" role of an altruist Sex Differences in Altruism -People commonly assume girls more helpful, generous, or compassionate than boys. -Girls often reported to help and share more than boys, although magnitude of sex difference not large -girls sometimes emit stronger facial and vocal expressions of sympathy than boys -boys found less cooperative and more competitive than girls Social-Cognitive and Affective Contributors to Altruism -Children w/ well-developed role-taking skills often found more helpful or compassionate than poor role takers -better able to infer companion's need for assistance or comforting -children and adolescents who receive training to further role-taking skills subsequently more charitable, more cooperative, more concerned about needs of others when compared to controls -Two contributors children's level of prosocial moral reasoning and empathic reactions to the distress of other people -moral reasoning thinking people display when deciding whether to help, share with, or comfort others when actions could prove costly to themselves. Prosocial Moral Reasoning -Reasoning about prosocial dilemmas may progress through many as five levels b/w early childhood and adolescence -Preschoolers' responses frequently self-serving: -as children mature, tend to become increasingly responsive to needs and wishes of others- -Does child's or adolescent's level of prosocial moral reasoning predict or her altruistic behaviour? Apparently yes -Preschoolers who progressed beyond hedonistic level of prosocial moral reasoning more likely to help and spontaneously share valuable commodities w/ peers than those who still reason in selfserving way -Mature moral reasoners among high school sample often said would help someone disliked if person really needed their help -children who showed more spontaneous sharing and relatively mature in levels of prosocial moral reasoning at4 to 5remained more helpful Empathy: An Important Affective Contributor to Altruism -Eisenberg's : child's growing ability to empathize w/ others contributes heavily to mature prosocial reasoning ato development of selfless concern for promoting welfare of whomever might require one's assistance -Empathy refers to person's ability to experience emotions of other people -Martin Hoffman (1981, 1993), empathy is universal human response has neurological basis and be either fostered or suppressed by environmental influences -believes empathic arousal eventually becomes important mediator of altruism. -some young children experience personal distress upon witnessing distress or misfortunes of others -may ignore or turn away from person in need in order to relieve their own discomfort -other children more inclined to interpret empathic arousal as concern for distressed others, this sympathetic empathic arousal, rather than self-oriented distress, should eventually come to promote altruism Socialization of Empathy -parents can help promote sympathetic empathic arousal by - (1)modelling empathic concern -(2) relying affectively oriented forms of discipline help young children to understand harmful effects of any distress caused to others -mothers who use more positive facial expressions while modelling sympathy and who explicitly verbalize own sympathetic feelings have children who act more sympathetically -help to counteract negative reactions young children may have to others' misfortunes Age Trends in the Empathy-Altruism Relationship. -link b/w empathy and altruism modest at best for preschool and young elementary school children but stronger for preadolescents adolescents, and adults -possible explanation for age trends : takes some time for childrento become better regulating negative emotionality and suppressing personal distress to others' misfortunes so can respond more sympathetically -Social-cognitive development plays important part -younger children may lack role-taking skills and insight about own emotional experiences to fully understand and appreciate (1)why others are distressed (2) why they are feeling aroused -empathy may become a stronger contributor to altruism once children become better inferring others' points of view and understanding causes of own empathic emotions- can help them feel sympathy for distressed or needy companions The "Felt-Responsibility" Hypothesis -child'ssympathetic empathic arousal causes reflect on altruistic lessons that they have learned-lessons such as the Golden Rule norm of social responsibilit(help others who need help), or knowledge other people approve of helping behaviour. - result child likely to assume some personal responsibilityfor aiding victim in distress , would now feel guilty for callously ignoring obligation -"felt responsibility" hypothesis reflected in Eisenberg's higher levels of prosocial moral reasoning may help explain link b/w empathy and altruism -older children likely learned (and internalized) more altruistic principles than younger children, should have much more to reflect on as experience empathic arousal. -more likely than younger children feel responsible for helping distressed person and follow through by rendering necessary assistance. Cultural and Social Influences on Altruism Cultural Influences -Cultures clearly differ in endorsement or encouragement of altruism. - John Whiting (1975) observed altruistic behaviour of 3- to 10-year-olds in six cultures-Kenya, Mexico, the Philippines, Okinawa, India, and United States. - most altruistic were less industrialized societies-cultures which people live in large families and children routinely contribute to family welfare -although children in Western industrialized societies involved in relatively few family-maintenance activities, those assigned housework or tasks benefit family members more prosocially inclined than age-mates whose responsibilities consist mainly of self-care routines -factor contributing to low altruism scores of children from Western industrialized nations :tremendous emphasis societies place on competition and on individual rather than group goals. -collectivist societies and subcultures taught to suppress individualism and cooperate w/ others for greater good of group -prosocial behaviour does not have same "discretionary" quality about it true of individualistic societies obligatory Social Influences -most people in most societies endorse norm of social responsibility- rule one should help others who need help. Reinforcing Altruism. - likeable respectable adults can promote children's prosocial behaviour verbally reinforcing acts of kindness. -Children generally motivated tolive up tostandards of people they admire, praise accompanying kindly acts suggests they are accomplishing that objective -youngsters 'bribed" w/ tangible rewards for prosocial acts not especially altruistic - they are driven by extrinsic reward Practising and Preaching Altruism - young children who observe charitable or helpful models become more charitable or helpful themselves, especially if model established warm relationship w/ them, provides compelling rationale for performing acts of kindness, and regularly practises what he preaches -children who observe charitable models more generous than those who observe no models or selfish models, even when not tested until two to four months later Who Raises Altruistic Children? -unusually charitable adults indicate "altruists" were raised by highly altruistic parents. -Christians who risked their lives to save Jews from the Nazis had close tiestomoralistic parents who always acted in accordance w/ ethical principles -white "freedom riders" from U.S. civil rights movement of 1960s reveal "fully committed" activists (gave up their homes and/ or careers to work full-time for cause) differed from "partially committed" (part-time) activists in two major ways: -enjoyed warmer relations w/ their parents, and had parents who advocated altruism and backed up exhortations by performing many kind and compassionate deeds. -partially committed activists often preached but rarely practised altruism -Parental reactions to child's harmdoing play important role in development of altruism. -Parents who rely on rational, nonpunitive disciplinary techniques which regularly display sympathy and concern for others tend to raise children sympathetic and self-sacrificing, - frequent use of forceful and punitive discipline appears to inhibit altruism , lead to development of self- centred value Development: Affective, Cognitive, and Behavioural Components -What is morality? University students generally agree t morality implies -capacity to (1)distinguish right from wrong, -(2)act on distinction, -(3) experience pride in virtuous conduct and guilt or shame over acts that violate one's standards -Implicit in consensual definitions idea : morally mature individuals do not submit tosociety's dictates because expect tangible rewards for complying or fear punishments for transgressing -eventually internalize moral principles learned and conform to ideals, even when authority figures not present to enforce them. -virtually all contemporary theorists consider internalization- shift from externally controlled actions to conduct governed by internal standards and principles - most crucial milestone How Developmentalists Look at Morality -three moral components university students mention in consensual definition of morality -1. affective, or emotional, component consists of feelings (guilt, concern for others' feelings, and so on) surround right or wrong actions and motivate moral thoughts and actions -2. cognitive component centres on way conceptualize right and wrong make decisions about how tobehave. -3. behavioural component reflects how we actually behave when experience temptation to lie, cheat, violate other moral rules. -Psychoanalytic theorists emphasize affective component, or powerful moral affects. -believe: children motivated to act in accordance w/ ethical principles in order to experience positive affects ex pride , avoid negative moral emotions ex guilt and shame. -Cognitive developmental concentrated on cognitive aspects of morality, or moral reasoning, found ways children think about right and wrong may change dramatically as they mature. - social learning and social information-processing theorists helped understand how children learn to resist temptation and practise moral behaviour -impressing actions like lying cheating stealing -help us to decide whether person really has unified moral character stable over time and across situations The Affective Component of Moral Development -psychoanalysts view mature personality having three components: Id Ego Superego -Freud claimed: infants and toddlers lack superego , act on selfish impulses unless parents control behaviour. -once superego emerges, said to function as internal censor has power to make child feel proud of virtuous conduct and guilty or shameful about committing moral transgressions. -morally mature should resist temptation to violate moral norms order to maintain self-esteem and avoid experiencing negative moral affects Freud's Theory of Oedipal Morality - superego develops during phallic stage (ages 3 to6), children said to experience an emotional conflict w/ same-sex parent - boy said to identify w/ and pattern himself afrer father, particularly if father was threatening figure who aroused fear. -not only learns masculine role this manner, also internalizes father's moral standards. -claim girls do not experience intense fear of castration boys experience, develop weaker superegos . Evaluating Freud's Theory -credit Freud for pointing out that moral emotions such as pride, shame, and guilt potentially important determinants of ethical conduct and that internalization of moral principles crucial step along - specifics very unsupported :: parents who rely on harsh forms of discipline tentohave children often misbehave rarely express feelings of guilt, remorse, shame, or self-criticism -simply no evidence boys develop stronger superegos than girls. -3-to5-year-old girls less likely to break rules , more likely to experience guilt when think they've committed transgression than 3- to 5-year-old boys - Theory is junk Newer Ideas about the Early Development of the Conscience -children may begin to form conscience as toddlers if securely attached to warm responsive parents who often cooperated w/ wishes during joint play and shared many positive emotional experiences w/ them. -Within context of warm, mutually responsive relationship (rather than fear provoking one), toddlers likely to display committed compliance -orientation in which (1) highly motivated to embrace parent's agenda , comply w/ rules and requests, (2) sensitive to parent's emotional signals indicating whether done right or wrong, -(3) beginning to internalize parental reactions to triumphs and transgressions, coming to experience pride, shame, and (later) guilt help evaluate and regulate own conduct -aloof or insensitive parents shared few mutually enjoyable activities w/ toddler likely to promote situational compliance- generally nonoppositional behaviour stems more from parents' power to control child's conduct than from child's eagerness to cooperate or comply -2- to 1/z-year-old toddlers who've mutually responsive relationships w/ mothers who resolve conflicts w/ them calmly , rationally more likely to resist temptations to touch prohibited toys at age 3 -more signs of having strong internalized conscience at ages4Vz to 6 age-mates whose earlier mother-toddler relationships less warm and mutually responsive -boys who show committed compliance to mothers at 33 months soon come to view themselves as "good" or "moral" individuals -explain why such children more inclined to cooperate w/ other adult authority figures The Cognitive Component of Moral Development -cognitive growth and social experiences help children develop understandings of meaning of rules, laws, and interpersonal obligations. - said to progress through an invariant sequence of moral stages, each evolves from and replaces predecessor and represents advanced or "mature" perspective on moral issues. Piaget's Theory of Moral Development -early work on children's moral judgments focused on two aspects of moral reasoning: - respect for rules and conceptions of justice. -studied developing respect for rules by playing marbles w/ Swiss children b/w ages 5 and 13 -asked questions such as "Where do these rules come from? Must everyone obey a rule? Can these rules be changed The Premoral Period. - preschool children show little concern or awareness of rules. - game of marbles, do not play systematically w/ intent of winning. - Instead, - seem to make up own rules, and think the point of the game is take turns and have fun. Heteronomous Morality. -5 and 10, child develops strong respect for rules entering Piaget's stage of heteronomous morality ("heteronomous" means "under the rule of another -believe rules are laid down by powerful authority figures such as God, police, or their parents, and think regulations sacred and unalterable. - try breaking th
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