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PSYB10H3 Lecture Notes - Prefrontal Cortex, Relational Aggression, Genetic Predisposition

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Kevin Page

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Social lec 21
Agression : intentional behavior aimed at causing physical or psychological pain. All about if you
mean to hurt someone. The intention matters.
Types of pain:
-physical agression: actually hurt in some way, needa see a doctor. Inflicting physical pain.
-verbal or relational aggression: saying or doing something psychologically hurtful things.
Goal of aggression: we make a distinction between hostile and instrumental aggression. What is
the point?
-hostile aggression: aggressive behavior that stems from our feelings of anger and has the goal
of inflicting pain.
-instrumental pain: aggressive behavior that inflicts pain, and the pain is middle step toward
another goal. We don’t see it as being that bad, more towards trying to achieve another goal.
Genetic predisposition: are humans just naturally aggressive
-agression is adaptive and has survival value. Evidence, some animals can be bred for
aggression. Ex: rotweillers. If you keep pairing it together you can create type of behavior.
-twin studies find high heritability for aggression.
-amygdala: stimulating the amygdale can lead to aggression. When it is stimulated, it can lead
to withdrawal or fear depending on the context. If your in a context you could win and your
amygdala is stimulated you will be aggressive, otherwise you fear. Also relative social status
matters. Lower status less confidence, maybe less aggression.
-prefrontal cortex: may be the regulating down of aggressive impulses. Involved in behavior
regulation. Murderers have less prefrontal cortex activity than normal controls (criminals who
havnt made a violent crime). It becomes activated when they think about an aggressive act, you
think but don’t do it, so its acting because your planning and regulating.
-testosterone: steroid hormone testosterone may increase aggression. Greater exposure to it in
the womb is linked to aggression. But injecting testosterone does not increase aggression.with
shorter pointer finger than ring finger, you were exposed to more steroid for aggression.
-seratonin: a neurotransmitter is related to many aspects of experience as a whole. It may
inhibit aggressive impulses. Violent criminals have less serotonin than others. Those with more
serotonin can regulate aggression better. Serotonin antagonists (blockers) increase aggression.
Chemical influence: alchohol disinhibits behavior in general. If you are not a an angry person
then you won’t be angry when drunk. If you kind of are an angry person and lead towards
fighting its harder to control the impulses when drunk. It reduces self consciousness causing
deindividuation. As well it reduces attention consequences of action. You don’t prethink about
Alcohol is involved in the majority of violent crimes. When drunk they reported more anger.
Frustration aggression hypothesis: aggression stems from frustration. If your angry your more
likely to be aggressive.
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