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Lecture 17

PSYC 3450 Lecture Notes - Lecture 17: Antisocial Personality Disorder, Cognitive Bias, Conduct Disorder

Course Code
PSYC 3450
Karl Hennig

of 10
Chapter 9
Aggression and Antisocial Conduct: Lecture 3
Risk factors for the “development” of aggression
See slide
There’s a lot of factors that go into predicting whether a child will be aggressive
More you check off, more likely kid will become aggressive
Last day…theories
the cause of aggression is:
external triggers, cues & developed habits (Berkowitz)
habits are behaviours we repeat
yet the link between anger and aggression is dispositional (a “readiness”)
idea that some people are more ready to aggress
social learning theory (Patterson’s model- parents teach aggression)
straight learning
Innate (older term: instinctual)
evolutionary psych theories emphasize “function”
if we are aggressive, what is the function of aggression
from this, the “development” of aggression is actually a failure in normative development
aggression isn’t learned, but through family and attachment we learn to inhibit our aggression
we are innately aggressive
aggression is a way of solving conflict, live in civilized culture where that is not allowed
failure in:
emotion regulation, automatic inhibition of aggressive responses
1. Identify and describe the two evolutionary functions of aggression. How are these related to the two
functions of aggression (pro/ reactive) previously discussed .
2. What view of human nature & aggression did developmental psychologists contribute to on the topic of
aggression (3 marks)? What is the evidence (2 marks)?
3. Describe 4 identified developmental pathways that lead to aggression (4 marks).
4. Briefly describe Moffitt’s dual pathway model.
5. What social-information processing biases do proactive aggressors and reactive aggressors display? (Be
specific in identifying a particular information processing step or level with each subtype of aggression; 2 X
3 marks = 6.) Give an examples of a reactive and proactive “vignette” (i.e., a very short story) to illustrate
how these two forms of aggressive thinking can be assessed (4 marks X 2 stories = 8 marks). How would a
reactive aggressor answer the question that goes with the reactive story, and how would a proactive
aggressor answer the proactive story (how would you assess stages of processing; 2 X 3 marks = 6).
1. Evolutionary function of aggression in the primal horde:
1.Co-opt resources of others [proactive/instrumental]
see something you want and take it
Competition for limited resources, including status
Status as a resource. Guys fighting in a bar
humans stockpile more than any other species
recall past scarcity & become anxious over future scarcity (arises from the human extended sense of self)
children commonly fight over access to toys & territory (“to the victor go the spoils”)
aggression as a solution to a problem
2. Defense/reactive. Negotiate status and power hierarchies (ritualized aggression; “street boxing”);
Status challenges are viewed as a threat, especially by those insecure in their status, resulting in reactive
status is ultimately about gaining progeny/sex
some other team is attacking yours, must defend yourself
2. Developmental contribution
View of human nature: Aggression isn’t learned, its human nature. What we learn is to inhibit aggressive
impulses and find better problem solving strategies:
Aggression as a solution to a problem
Emotional regulation & problem solving as alternatives to acting out aggressively
Evidence: In contrast to social learning theory where aggression is learned over time, rather it actually
peaks at 2 -3 yrs (scratching, biting, hitting)
Aggression is not learned
What we learn is to inhibit our aggressive impulse and find better problem solving strategies
Human beings are innately aggressive
Aggression peak at two years of age, if measured by behaviour
Scratching, biting, hitting, pulling hair
3. Four pathways (the lines)
Early temperament; some are aggressive
early “difficult temperament”