Lecture 21 - Aggression

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13 Dec 2010
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Lecture 21 Aggression
Aggression
Intentional behaviour
The intension matters
Two types of pain that we think about when people who study aggression think about
Type of Pain
Physical aggression
oAggression that causes physical pain
oYoure actually hurt in some way and need to go to the doctor maybe
Verbal or Relational Aggression
oYoure not cut but youre psychologically hurt
oPsychological emotional hurt really does help in a physical sense
oThe reason why people call it relational aggression broadly defined
Goal of Aggression
Distinction between hostile and instrumental aggression
Key is what was the point
Hostile Aggression
Youre upset so you want to inflict pain on somebody else
The goal itself is to inflict pain
Instrumental Aggression
Outcome goal is not to hurt them
Save somebody but in the process they get their arm scratched
We dont think of it being that bad but it depends on the context and what the ultimate goal is
Approaches to Aggression
Think about a time when you hurt somebody else
Why did you do it? Because thats the thing we care a lot about more than what they did
Why we hurt: Typical Answers
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Humans just hurt other humans and thats the way it is I was born that way
the booze made me do it chemical influence different from a genetic predisposition answer, its not
something that innate that will make you aggress but about the drug that will make you aggress
I was having a bad day Frustration-Aggression Theory
Too much violence in the media social learning theory...because you saw a movie
Genetic Predisposition?
Aggression is adaptive towards evolution idea is I have to aggress upon this so I can survive
Evidence
oSome animals can be bred for aggression Rottweilers for more aggressive traits
oRottweiler shows aggressive behaviours
oThere is something that you keep pairing it together so it creates an outcome genetic
influence
oTwin studies
Identical twins, they are perfect clones, genetic copies, however fraternal twins are
genetically similar as normal brothers and sisters
If an identical twin is freaking out on people all the time, so is the other one
Amygdala
Stimulating the amygdale, can lead to aggression
Both rats and humans
Strong evidence
Depends on the context
There is an interaction of the two, depending on the context, if you stimulate the amygdale
If youre in a context where you probably co9uld win and I stimulate the amygdale then youre suddenly
aggressive
But if youre in a situation where you wont win such as a big bear, youll show withdrawal and
avoidance
Can win and cannot win in rats higher status rats, then they would avoid, but if they’re in the
presence of lower status rats, then they’ll attack so social status makes a big impact
Pre Frontal Cortex
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Document Summary

 two types of pain that we think about when people who study aggression think about.  physical aggression: aggression that causes physical pain, you"re actually hurt in some way and need to go to the doctor maybe.  verbal or relational aggression: you"re not cut but you"re psychologically hurt, psychological emotional hurt really does help in a physical sense, the reason why people call it relational aggression broadly defined .  you"re upset so you want to inflict pain on somebody else.  the goal itself is to inflict pain.  outcome goal is not to hurt them.  save somebody but in the process they get their arm scratched.  we don"t think of it being that bad but it depends on the context and what the ultimate goal is.  think about a time when you hurt somebody else. Because that"s the thing we care a lot about more than what they did.

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