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Lecture 11

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David Haley

Lecture 11: Aggression 20/11/12 What is aggression? - Very clear definition in the West that points the finger to this one distinction of intentionality that would dictate whether a behaviour is aggressive Aggression - Behaviour that is intended to and in fact does harm another person by inflicting pain or injury - It is sometimes difficult to determine whether an action was intentional or accidental - Alternative definitions focus on:  The form of the act  The outcome of the act - The best definition focuses on the aggressor, the victim, and the community  An act is aggression if the aggressor intends it to harm the victim, the victim perceives it to be harmful, and it is considered aggressive according to the norms of the community - Is aggression innate and/or acquired?  evidence in text that it is both - Is it rising or declining? - Ppl that don’t get their needs recognized in early synchrony they will assume just that and take an aggressive act towards it to get it because they have never experienced getting what they want  by getting what you need you develop a coping strategy to negotiate future conflicts that are less aggressive - If you don’t get needs recognized you form these compensatory strategies that facilitate aggressive behaviour Types of aggression - Function of aggression  Proactive aggression: behaviour in which a person is hurt or injured by someone who is motivated by a desire to achieve a specific goal (instrumental aggression) – act as means to a goal  Reactive aggression: a form of hostile behaviour in response to an attack, threat, or frustration, usually motivated by anger (hostile aggression) – attacking a person who did the aggressive act - Forms of aggression  Physical aggression: hostile behaviour that inflicts physical pain or discomfort  Verbal aggression: words that inflict pain by yelling, insulting, ridiculing, humiliating etc  Social aggression: non-verbal attacks or hurtful non-verbal gestures, such as rolling the eyes or sticking out the tongue  Relational aggression: behaviour that damages or destroys interpersonal relationships by means such as exclusion or gossip  Direct aggression: physical or verbal hostile behaviour that directly targets another person  fact-to-face  Indirect aggression: hostile behaviour by an unidentified perpetrator that hurts another person by indirect means  not happening face-to-face and having a grp of friends that gang up on someone (gossiping) Patterns of aggression: - Gender differences in aggression  By toddlerhood boys are more likely than girls to instigate and be involved in direct physical aggressive incidents  Among 3-5 year olds, boys are more physically aggressive than girls and this difference persists through adolescence  In adolescence, approximately 5 times as many boys as girls are arrested for violent crimes - Stability of individuals differences in aggression  Researchers have found that aggression is relatively stable over time for both boys and girls, especially physical aggression  Early starters: children who start to behave aggressively at a young age and often remain aggressive through childhood and adolescence  Later starters: children who begin to act aggressively in adolescence and tend not to continue their aggressive behaviour in adulthood Types of aggression - Aggression can sometimes be adaptive  Adaptive: role in protection survival, and even developmental growth  Early childhood: aggressive interchanges can promote their social-cognitive growth  Middle childhood: aggression can be used as a to show off  Adolescence: aggressive prowess may be a key to rising in the status hierarchy of a gang  Adaptive advantages may be mixed with maladaptive outcomes  Gaining status with peers especially deviant peers can lead to increases in deviant activities and increased contact with authorities including law enforcement  May be advantageous to be more aggressive where there are fewer resources available  can start to contextualize the value of aggressive and why it may be adaptable Causes of aggression - Social influences on the development of aggression  Parents and interactive partners  Children are less likely to become aggressive if they establish secure relationships with their parents in their first year  Children are more likely to become aggressive if parents are critical and negative, or controlling  Children are more likely to become aggressive when physical punishment is used, especially when the parent-child relationship lacks warmth or physical punishment is unusual in the culture  Coercion Model of Aggression  Parents and children train each other via mutually coercive behaviour 1. Parents interfere with children’s ongoing activity 2. Children respond by complaining, whining, protesting 3. Parents give tin to the children’s complaints 4. Children stop their defiance and non-compliance 5. Children have learned that coercive (aggressive) behaviour controls parents; parents have learned that
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