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Lecture 12

PSYC 1000 Lecture Notes - Lecture 12: Repetition Compulsion, Oedipus Complex, 6 Years

Course Code
PSYC 1000

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PSYC 2310
Lecture 13: Tuesday March 11, 2014
Any form of behaviour directed toward the goal of harming or injuring another living
being who is motivated to avoid such treatment
oIntention of bad act
oVictim regards act as aversive/unwanted
oVerbal assault to second degree murder
oIs aggression innate/instinctual?
oIs aggression developed through seeing others
Lobster study
oSpecie specific
oArgue that neurotransmitter serotonin naturally encourages aggression
oKept lobsters isolated, so they had no prior knowledge about how to fight
Cultural norms
oDifferent actions are seen as aggressive in different contexts
oAggression – horn-honking, wife beating, rape, homicide, riots, political
rebellions, revolution
Neglects meaning of actions
oPower differences between different groups in society
Nature vs nurture
oAggression is in our nature
oAggression is in our nurture
oFalse debate!
Genes + environment
Bodies + societies
Instinct theory: aggression is inborn/instinctual

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oAggressive instinct (McDougall, 1908)
One of 18 instincts as a basic building block to people
oPsychoanalytic theory (Freud, 1905)
Two sources of aggression
Frustration of the pleasure principle (i.e. Oedipus Complex)
The death drive
Psychoanalytic theory
oBlockage (of pleasure seeking)  frustration (new effort of delay of gratification) 
anger (repression and/or defense)  inflicting pain on others (primary aggression)
oFrustration of pleasure
Reactive (proportional to situation) vs explosive (unprovoked, not
proportional to any stimulus)
Hydraulic theory – build aggressive feelings, no release will cause them
to come out
oThe death drive
Drive towards death, self-destruction and the return to the inorganic
Beyond the pleasure principle – written in 1920
Eros vs thanatos
Determined through
Repetition in war trauma – dreams bring patient back to same
Children play (fort-da) – gone away, found! Stage and restaging,
making sense of mother leaving (trauma)
Repetition compulsion – patients dealing with painful experiences
regularly repeated old patterns that brought them unhappiness
Drive resulted in self-destruction or towards other people
Early ethological studies on aggression
oStudy of animal behaviour
oObservation of and experimentation with species other than humans
oZing Yang Kuo’s (1961) experiment: raising a kitten in the same cage with a rat
Cat refrained from attacking the rat

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They became friends
Cat refused to chase/kill other rats too
oEibl-Eibesfeldt’s (1963) experiment: raising rats in isolation
Isolated rat uses same pattern of threat and attack as experienced rats
Once another rat was introduced
oKonrad Lorenz’s (1966) observation: of the behaviours of cichlids, highly
aggressive fish
Male does not attack female
Male does not attack male of different species
Only attacks male of own species
Removed all males, leaving only 1 male alone with no target
Will attack males of other species now that all others are removed
When all males removed (all species), they will attach females
Have this aggression for benefits
Aggression is inborn/instinctual
oEvolutionary perspective
Human warfare orientated in attempts to obtain valuable resources –
fought over women first
Emphasizing genetic survival – genes pass on to next generation
oGender differences
Evolutionary explanations
oBiochemical and neural influences on aggression
Amygdala, an area in the core of the brain, is associated with aggressive
oBut still socially mediated
Biochemical correlates
oBiological and neural influences on aggression
Testosterone, a sex hormone, is associated with aggression
Being aggressive could raise testosterone levels
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