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Lecture 11

Lecture 11: Chapter 10 - Aggression Detailed lecture notes, including descriptions of all in-class exercises AND video clips used during lecture.

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Emiko Yoshida

Chapter 10 Aggression Introduction  “by 1990 kidnapping will be the dominant mode of social interaction” – Woody Allen  Belief that violence has increased in society  Ex. wars, genocides th th  Graph – war-related deaths increases exponentially during the 19 to 20 century  Mis-representative – doesn’t take population into account  Steven Pinker Youtube TED talk  Contradicts the text  Text says that violence is increasing over time  Pinker is saying that it is decreasing especially in the last few decades General Aggression  What is Aggression?  Not the same thing as assertiveness  Hostile aggression: springs from anger, “heat of the moment” (ex. you insulted me, so I will hit you)  Instrumental aggression: a means to an end (ex. deaths in a war)  Why do people do violent things?  Biological/biochemical o Testosterone – correlated with aggression (and vice versa) o Serotonin – low levels found in violence prone people (and vice versa) o Alcohol – more alcohol leads to greater aggression and vice versa because alcohol deindividuates and disinhibits o **Biology and behaviour interact!**  Individual differences o People with LSE (low self-esteem) – lash out to make themselves feel better (research has shown that LSE has nothing to do with aggression) o Narcissism (type of high self-esteem) actually leads to agression  An inflated, and fragile, view of self  Obsessed with gaining the admiration and attention of others  Lower threshold for insults  Evidence – Bushman & baumeister (2002)  Violent offenders in prison have higher narcissism scores than non-offenders  Narcissists given a negative evaluation in the lab more aggressive against evaluator  Sexual violence (especially date rape, not stranger rape)  Most likely to make self-serving interpretations  Low empathy  Inflated sense of entitlement  Reactance – what happens when someone is denied something that they want (ex. they want it more = aggressive acts)  Sense of entitlement + reactance = increased willingness to engage in aggressive behaviour  Evidence – do narcissistic men enjoy watching rape scenes?  Shown movie scenes: 3 conditions Chapter 10 1. Consensual, affectionate contact 2. Rape scene 3. Consensual, affectionate contact followed by rape scene (same couple)  How arousing are the scenes?  How much do you identify with man/woman?  Result: men high in narcissism enjoyed the rape + affection scene as much as the affection only scene  Narcissists thought the rape scene was less violent  Suggests narcissists approve of raping a woman who rejects them once they have become sexually aroused  Does not mean that only narcissists are sexually violent!!  Social Learning Theory o Beliefs and attitudes  Rape myths (Burt, 1980)  False beliefs that both deny, and justify, male sexual violence towards women  Deny (women falsely accuse men)  FBI suggested between 2% and 8% of reported accusations are “unfounded”  Approximately 8% get reported  Justify – victims are “loose”  Unlikely when 25% of women have been victimized o People learn things from people around them o Albert Bandura: we learn social behaviour (including aggression) by observing and imitating, and being rewarded and punished  Children brought into lab, working on an art project  Adult comes in begins working on something else, adult becomes frustrated, beats up Bo-Bo doll  Children then taken into another room with amazing toys, play for 2 minutes, then taken away from the room, experimenter says that they have to save the toys for other children  Taken into a third room with Bo-Bo dolls, where they would imitate what they saw the frustrated adult do before (play more aggressively) o Important because counters the “catharsis” idea – watching others engage in violence will “drain” the violence out of us  Media o Videogames & violence  In a videogame, you are not just watching, you are acting and imitating (with positive reinforcement)  Increases people’s violent attitudes and beliefs, as well as their expectations about forms and frequency of violence
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