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Psychology 1000 - February 27.docx

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Western University
Psychology 1000
Laura Fazakas- De Hoog

Psychology 1000 Thursday February 27 Lecture 7 Chapter 13 (con’t…) Practice Exam Question: In variations of Milgram’s study obedience was least when: a) The “student” was visible b) The “teacher” could touch the “student” c) The “student” yelled out when shocked d) An authority figure was present e) The “teacher” was fully responsible for the outcome Answer: E Practice Exam Question: Social loafing is decreased when: a) Efforts are identifiable b) Group members are friends c) Tasks are rewarded d) Tasks are challenging e) All of the above Answer: E Outline: I. Attribution a. Perceiving causes of behavior b. Forming and maintaining impressions II. Intergroup Relations a. Stereotypes b. Prejudice c. Discrimination III. Attitude Change IV. Aggression V. Altruism What is Aggression? • Any behaviour that is intended to harm another person • 3 different components of aggression: 1. Cognitive (thoughts) 2. Emotion (feelings) 3. Behavior (actions) • Can be verbal threats or physical actions • Aggressive acts can be: o Global (terrorism such as 9-11) o National (Columbine, McGill shootings) o Community (road rage, rape) o Family (domestic violence, child abuse) Video: Bowling for Columbine (Michael Moore) • *The U.S. has a higher aggression rate than Canada • Canada, France, Australia, the U.K., Japan, etc… all have under 200 people killed by guns each year, but the United States has around 11,000 deaths by guns • *Reasons why aggression is higher in the U.S. than Canada: o The Americans are always afraid, and always being in a state of fear makes them reactive o Canadians still watch violent movies, the poverty rate is the same or higher than the U.S., 13% of the population is not white, gun ownership is similar Homicide Rates • Canada o 1998: 558 homicides, 151 gun related • U.S.A. o 1995: over 30,004 homicides, over 21,000 gun related • 25% of the victims are aged 15-25 • *Remember that the U.S. has a higher population than Canada, but their per capita rates are still much higher than Canada Theories of Aggression Biological Factors • Genetic Contribution? o Identical twins are more similar than fraternal twins when it comes to aggressive behaviour o Survival function – it allows us to protect our resources and defend ourselves o There is animal breeding to create more aggressive species • Specific Areas in the Brain? o Hypothalamus – stimulating a cat’s hypothalamus will lead to attacking behaviours o Amygdala – forms emotionally charged memories, is related to self- defense behaviours o Frontal lobe – plays a role in impulse control  Adults who have committed murder have less activity in their frontal lobe o It is NO ONE specific area, but complex neural circuits that play a role in behaviour • Hormones? o Testosterone – there is a belief that it is related to increased aggression, but although there is a strong effect in animals, there is a much weaker effect in humans • Neurotransmitters? o Low levels of serotonin can lead to emotional rage  There are small decreases in aggression when treated with an SSRI (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor) Psychological Factors • Psychodynamic Theory (Freud) o Freud thought aggression is instinctive, and it occurs when the ego is unable to contain or redirect aggression into acceptable behaviour (the id is out of control) • Catharsis o Performing an aggressive act will temporarily reduce impulses to aggress o Like a pressure cooker, if you let a little steam off, it is less likely to blow o Freud also believed watching aggression in movies will temporarily allow violent feelings to be let go o Research findings on catharsis:  After “physical activity” it is easier to provoke aggression (opposite of Freud’s belief)  Watching aggression provides a vicarious release (eg. violent pornography leads to more aggression against women) Learning Theory • Media Violence? o Social Learning (Bandura’s Bobo Doll Study) • Research Findings: o Viewers learn aggression through modeling o Viewers come to learn that aggression is rarely punished o Viewers become desensitized to the effects of violence (it no longer bothers them to the same degree) o Viewers have a greater fear of becoming victims Perceived Intent? • “Attribution of Intentionality” – There is more retaliation if we perceive the aggression as intentional and controllable • Those who are aggressive typically perceive that other’s intentions are more hostile as well (eg. this is true of bullies) Helping Behaviours • Prosocial Behaviour – Any action intended to benefit another (regardless of motive) • Altruism – An act that benefits another without any self-interested motive • We are more likely to help someone we have a close biological relationship with • Bystander Effect o The more people who are present, the less likely that anyone would go for help o eg. Kitty Genovese was attacked in an alley and many people walked by, but since there were so many people, no one went for help and she died o Study: They studied whether the number of people present would change the reaction time. Those who were alone had the fastest reaction time, it slowed if one person was present, and the slowest time was if 4 people were present. o Explanation? 1. Diffusion of responsibility – we assume someone else has already acted or will act so you don’t have to 2. Deindividuation – being unlikely to be identified • Occurs with large crowds, • anonymity, • darkness, and • clothing that obscures the face 3. Unsure how to respond o d Attraction • What is Attraction? (3 components) 1) Thoughts (either positive or negative evaluations) 2) Feelings (emotional evaluations of a person) 3) Behaviours Predictors of Attraction • Emotions: We become associated with people we associate with o eg. if you have a good time with friends, you are likely to feel positive towards them and attracted towards them • Need for affiliation: We have a desire to be close to others • Reciprocal Judgements: People like others who rate them positively and like them (it is validating and positively reinforcing) • Reinforcement Theory (Byrne’s “Law of Attraction”) o We tend to have a greater liking for people who give us positive reinforcement, or rew
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