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PSYC 2310 Lecture Notes - Social Learning Theory, Amygdala

Course Code
PSYC 2310
Saba Safdar

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March 19, 2013
- definition: “aggression is any form of behaviour directed toward the goal of
harming or injuring another living being who is motivated to avoid such
Is that aggression?
- a patient winces in pain as the dentist works on his root canal.
- A man shouts obscenities and gives the finger to another driver who cut him
- The hockey player trips the player from the opposing team as he skates
Nature vs. Nurture
- aggression is in our nature
- aggression is in our nurture
o a false debate!
Aggression is Inborn (The nature aspect)
- instinct theories:
o aggressive instinct (McDougall, 1908)
we don’t know what instinct is
we all have this black box, and based on that we become
aggressive overtime. That does not explain much.
o Death instinct, Thanatos (Freud, 1930)
o Hydraulic theory
Studies on Aggression
- observation of and experimentation with species other than humans
o Zing Yang Kuo’s (1961) experiment: raising a kitten in the same cage
with a rat
The kitten became friends with the rat and was then okay with
other rats
Aggression is something you can modify he argued
aggression is learned
o However, you cannot say that aggression is
o Eibl-Eibesfeldt’s (1963) experiment: raising rats in isolation
Introduce new rat to cage.
o Konrad Lorenz’s (1966) observation of the behaviours of cichlids,
highly aggressive fish
Aggression in Inborn
- evolutionary perspective of aggression:
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