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Lecture 10

PSYB10 LECTURE 10.docx

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University of Toronto Scarborough
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July 12 2012 Lecture 10 – Aggressive and Prosocial Behaviour - Aggression – is intentional behaviour aimed at causing pain - Two dimensions of classification – type of pain and goal of pain (is it by accident, or purposely to harm another) - Type of pain – physical aggression – aggression inflicting physical pain - Type of pain – verbal or relational aggression – saying or doing psychologically hurtful things e.g. rumors - Goal of aggression – we make a distinction b/w hostile and instrumental aggression - Hostile aggression stems from anger and frustration (low level form of aggression) while the end goal is to inflict pain and thus “I am acting aggressively towards you” - Instrumental behaviour inflict pain while the pain is a middle step toward another goal – the goal is not the pain but rather is the outcome Why we hurt – typical answers - “I was born that way” – Genetic predisposing - Aggression is adaptable and has survival value – in order to survive we have to compete aggressively - Earliest evidence – animals can be bred to be aggressive and twin studies have found high heritability for aggression - Stimulating the amygdala (part of the limbic system, associated with anger) leads to aggression - Depends on context - Amygdala associated with both fear and anger while anger is approach motivated emotion while fear is a withdrawal motivated emotion - The amygdala does not always lead to aggression, sometimes it leads to fear - What predicts one versus the other is ones relative social status – high in social status “I can win the this fight = stimulates anger and aggressive behaviour ” while “low in social status” – stimulates withdrawal and fear - Prefrontal cortex – may be the regulator of aggression, generally involved in planning and behavioural regulation - High degree of prefrontal activity then you should be able to control those aggressive impulses - Murders have less prefrontal cortex hen normal controls and PFC becomes activated when contemplating an aggressive act - Relationship b/w testosterone and aggressive behaviour – stereotype is men are more aggressive then women however studies show injecting testosterone does not increase aggression (week effect r = 0.14) - In general in men the point finger tends to be longer than their wedding finger (than women – whereas women’s tend to shorter) - This is related to exposure to androgens in the womb which are steroid hormones, the greater the discrepancy between the lengths of the fingers, the greater the aggressive behaviour (ONLY AT THE PRENATAL LEVEL) - Serotonin – neurotransmitter related to many aspects of experience, may inhibit aggressive impulses - Violent criminals have less serotonin than normal’s, serotonin antagonists (blockers) increase aggression - “The booze made me do it” – Chemical influence - Alcohol disinhibits behaviour in general - Reduced self consciousness = de-indviuduation - Reduced attention (plan less) and reduced attention towards the consequences of action - 65% of homicides and 55% domestic violence, assailant and or victim had been drinking - In lab studies comparing alcohol with placebo (non-alcoholic beer) – you drink what you think is a beer, you give higher shocks in a milligram type experiment - After given a beer in a lab they show more anger when thinking about conflict with romantic partner - “I was having a bad day” – Frustration – Aggression theory - Frustration – (emotional response – blocked from your goal) the perception that you have been prevented from attaining a goal - More aggression when you are close to the goal, frustration is unexpected, intentional or unjustified - Greater aggression if you can’t retaliate at the person you are frustrated at - However, not all aggression is the result of frustration and not all frustration leads to aggression - Environmental factors - pain and heat (heat above 32 C invokes aggression) - Neo association – aversive events cause anger, concepts associated with anger become accessible - Anger related concepts already in working memory esp facilitated - Aggressive stimuli – trigger aggressive behaviour (anger primes aggression, an object that we associate with aggression e.g. knife or a gun” - Study “the gun study” - partipant works with confederate on problem solving task involving shocks, 2. Anger manipulated by shocks from confederate 3. Next participant can shock confederate 4. Beside the shock machine was wither a. nothing b. gun c. badminton racket - Results – high anger (shocked 7 times) – you choose the gun while low anger likely to choose no object or racket - “ I did what anyone else would do” or “violence in the media” – Social learning theory - Vicarious learning – (by Albert Bandura) learning solely through observation of other people’s reinforced and punished behaviour (no direct reinforcement or punishment, also called social modeling) - Social modeling of aggression – we learn aggression from observing others and imitating them - Adoption of modeled behaviour are dependent on rewards and punishments observed - People who come from aggressive environments themselves become more aggressive in their approach because that is what they have learned and observed - BOBO DOLL experiment – kids watch video tape of young adult behaving aggressively or neutrally toward a bobo doll 2. Models consequences – rewarded, punished or not 3. Kids incentive or no incentive - Results –when the kids saw the model be rewarded stickers after acting aggressively, the kids also acted in a aggressive manner - If the kid saw the model being punished rather than rewarded then the child didn’t imitate the aggressive behavior - The no consequence condition where the model had no consequence after acting in an aggressive behaviour , the kid still activated the same way as the reward condition - Bandura found that the children exposed to the aggressive model were more likely to act in physically aggressive ways than those who were not exposed to the aggressive model. Children exposed to the aggressive model were more likely to act in verbally aggressive ways than those who were not exposed to the aggressive model - Implications – family influence – physically aggressive children more likely to have physically punitive parents - 30% of physically abused kids abuse their own children - Media influence – high publicized suicides – increased suicides - Televisions and aggression – by grade 7 average child has seen 8000 murderers and 100 000 other acts of violence - More television predicts aggressiveness - Study – 1. Recrutited 200 8 year old boys from New York 2. Measured general aggressiveness at age 8 3. Documented how much violent TV they watched - Results - violent TV watching at age 8 predicted the amount of aggression you had at age 19 and predicted violent criminal activity (robbery, murder etc) at age 30 - Moderating factors in TV aggression link – If the model/actor is similar to us Punishment vs reward ( we see the actor go to jail as a consequence deceases aggressive behaviour among us) Apparent reality – cartoon influence aggression less than film Apparent consequences – pain within the victim is shown (what the victim goes through) - TV imparts info about how to aggress, primes anger and make you aware of how much violence in the world exists making the world see more dangerous which then increases fear of victimization - Heavy viewers tend to overestimate frequency of violent crime Pro-social Behaviour - Co-operative dilemmas (also called social dilemmas) – situation where the most beneficial action for an individual will be harmful for the collective group - Escalation of conflict – interpersonal conflict feeds itself and escalates if one side does not begin concession Partner A gets mad at his partner, 1 choice partner B can respond in a equally hurtful nd manner which will lead for partner A to compel more 2 choice – partner B could say a diffusing remark “are you okay, what’s happening” – which diffuses the conflict as partner A doesn’t have a reason to compel - Tragedy of the commons – an cooperative dilemma that occurs in situations where has access to a common pool of goods that will replenish itself if used in moderation but disappear if over used (people reliably tend to take more than their first share) - Both the size of the commons and the group that is sharing it are easily determined and the size of an equal share is explicitly stated - E.g. pizza – there are 8 slices, 4 friends = 2 slices each – - The prisoners Dilemma – a situation where 2 people must make a collectively dependent decision without knowing the others decision - Two men are arrested, but the police do not possess
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