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Psychology (7,818)
PSYB10H3 (544)


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Elizabeth Page- Gould

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-1Lecture 10:Aggressive & Prosocial Behaviour Aggression: intentional behaviour aimed at causing physical or psychological pain Two dimensions of classification: Type of pain: Physical pain: aggression inflicting physical pain Verbal or relational aggression: saying or doing psychologically hurtful things Goal of pain: à we make distinction between hostile and instrumental aggression à what is the goal of aggression? HostileAggression: Stems from feelings of anger Has the goal of inflicting pain InstrumentalAggression: à inflicts pain à the pain is a middle step toward another goal (starting spreading rumors because they were jealous of your social status. Example: saying you are promiscuous) Approaches toAggression: Think about a time you hurt someone. Why did you do it? Typical answers: “born this way” - genetic predisposition “the booze made me do it” - chemical influence “I was having a bad day” - frustration-aggression theory “I did what anyone else would do” or “violence in the media” - social learning theory Genetic Predisposition: à basic theoretical premise: - aggression is adaptive and has survival value à Earliest evidence: -Animals can be bred for aggression - twin studies find highly heritability for aggression Amygdala: à Stimulating amydala can lead to aggression Depends on context: sometimes leads to withdrawal/fear. Relative social status matters. Pre-frontal Cortex: à may be regulator of aggressive impluses - generally involved in planning and behavioral regulation Evidence: Murderers have less PFC activity than normal controls - PFC becomes less activated when contemplating aggressive act Testosterone: à the steroid hormone testosterone may increase aggression -- greater exposure to testosterone in womb linked to aggression BUT: - injecting testosterone does not increase aggression - testosterone-aggression is weak effect. R=14 Seratonin: à Neurotransmitter related to many aspects of experience - may inhibit aggressive impluses: - violent criminals have less serotonin than normals - serotonin antagonists (blockers) increase aggression Chemical Influence:Alcohol à alcohol distributes behaviour in general - reduced self-consciousness à deindividualation - reduced attention to consequences of action Relationship between alcohol and aggression: à 65% homicides, 55% of domestic violence - assailant and or victim had been drinking In lab studies comparing alcohol with placebo: People give stronger shocks. -- report more anger when thinking about conflict with romantic partner Frustration-aggression hypothesis: Aggression stems from frustration Frustration: à the perception that you have been prevented from attaining a goal Factors affecting frustration and aggression: More aggression when: - you are close to the goal - frustration is unexpected, intentional, or unjustified - can’t retaliate against cause of frustration Critiques of frustration-aggression hypothesis: à Not all aggression is the result of frustration: - environmental factors - neo-associationism Not all frustration leads to aggression Environment andAggression: à Pain - rat attack each other after being shocked - participants blast each other with louder noise after hand submerged in ice water VS room temperature water à Heat above 32 degrees invokes aggressions Neo-Associationism: àAversive events: - cause anger - concepts associated with anger become accessible - anger-related concepts already in working memory especially facilitated à Aggressive stimuli: trigger aggressive behaviour - object associated with aggression [gun, knife] STUDY:Aggressive Stimuli: The Gun Study -Method: 1. Participant works with confederate on problem solving task involving shocks 2.Anger manipulated by shocks from C (low anger= 1 shock. High anger = 2) 3. Next, P can shock C 4. Beside the shock machine was either: - nothing - gun - badminton racket Results: High anger - gun high Social Learning Theory: Vicarious Learning: à Learning solely through observation of other people’s reinforced and punished behaviour à no direct reinforcement or punishment à aka “social modeling” Social modeling of aggression: à we learn aggression from observing others and imitating them à adoption of modeled behaviours are dependent on rewards and punishments observed STUDY: bobo doll experiment Bandura: Method: 1. Kids watch video tape of young adult behaving aggressively or neutrally toward a “Bobo doll” 2. Model’s consequence: - rewarded, punished, or not 3. Kids incentive: incentive or no incentive Implications: à family influence - physically aggressive children more likely to have physically punitive parents - 30% of physically abused kids abuse their own kids à media influence - high publicized suicide - increased suicides Television andAggression: By 7 grade, average child has seen: - 8,000 muders - 100 000 other acts of violence - More television predicts aggressiveness - Important caveat: mostly correlation studies Television & Aggression Over time: STUDY: Eron & Huesmann Method: 1. Recruited 200 eight year old boys from new york city 2. Measured general aggressiveness at age 8 3. Documented how much violent TV they watched RESULTS: - violent TV watching at age 8 predicted: - aggression at age 9 - criminal acts of violence (rape, robberies, assault) at age 30 - controlled for aggression at age 8 Moderating Factors in TV-Aggression Link: à Model similarity - makes us want to act like them if they are similar to us à Punishment VS Reward àApparent reality - cartoons aggression less than film à apparent consequences - modeling more likely when pain/harm caused by violence is not depicted How Does TVAffectAggression? à Imparts information about how to aggress à Primes anger (neo-associatism) à makes world seem more dangerous, increases fear of victimization à heavy viewers tend to overestimate frequency of violent crime, probability of being assaulted à Loosens inhibitions toward violence Prosocial Behaviour: Co-operative Dilemmas: à Situations where the most beneficial action for an individual will be harmful for the collective dilemma Escalation of conflict: à interpersonal conflict feels itself and escalates if one side foes not begin concession Close relationship example: Stimulus: partnerAcomes home and snaps at partner B Partner B response: An equally hurtful remark - partner B is vindicated, but partnerAfeels compelled to respond with an equally vehement remark à conflict escalates Adefusing remark: à partner B takes a hit in pride, but partnerAAhas no reason to say another hurtful remark -- conflict defuses International Relations: Stimulus: CountryAaccidentally bombs a civilian area of country B during a training exercise Country B’s response: à bomb them back - country B is vindicated, but they are not at war with CountryA àAccept apology - country B takes a hit in many ways, but they maintain peaceful relations with countryA Tragedy of the Commons: àAco-operative dilemma that occurs in situations where everyone has access to a common pool of goods that will replenish itself if used in moderation but disappear if overused à People reliability tend to take more than their fair share Ex: mash patatoes at thanksgiving. They didn’t mean to take it. Pizza is easy Why do we take more than our fair share? àAnchoring andAdjustment heuristic - desired share is used as an anchor - do not sufficiently adjust down à Size of commons is not readily estimable When do we take our fair share? à Both the size of the commons and the group that is sharing it are easily determined à The size of an equal share is explicitly stated The Prisoner’s Dilemma: àAsituation where two people make a collectively-dependent decision without knowing the other person’s decision àAspecial case of John Nash’s Game Theory à strategies that maximize personal outcomes in multi-stage prisoners dilemmas: Best Strategy: simple tit for tat strategy -- co-operate on first round -- then mirror opponents response - defect as soon as opponent defects - continue defecting until they cooperate, then cooperate If you know when game is about to end: -- defect on last trail Prosocial Behaviour: àAction performed with the goal of benefiting another person Altruism: à Helping done purely out of a desire to help another person - does not benefit the self - may even involve a cost to the self Examples: Anne Herbert coined the phrase: “RandomActs of Kindness” - i
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