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Lecture 4

PSY BEH 11C Lecture Notes - Lecture 4: Walter Bradford Cannon, Cognitive Dissonance, Relational Aggression


Department
Psychology and Social Behavior
Course Code
PSY BEH 11C
Professor
Elizabeth Martin
Lecture
4

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Jessica Mangold
PsyBeh 11C
Professor Martin
Week 2 Lecture 2
4/11/19
Social Relations
Housekeeping
- be sure to look for seating chart on Friday -> have to sit in assigned seat for exams
- Exam #1 on Tuesday
How to Study
- read the textbook
- where vast majority of questions come from
- reword information into own words
- go through notes taken in class
- things from class not found in textbook will be on exam
- go through study guide
- available on website
- go to discussion questions
- ask questions
Attitude Change
- persuading ourselves
- cognitive dissonance
- Bem’s self-perception theory
- we figure out our attitudes by observing our own behavior
- how way that we think is changed based off of how we act
- study in which experimenter asked homeowners to comply with very
small request (sign on lawn for auto safety)
- would come back a week later & ask to put large sign on yard
- those who agreed with small request more likely to agree with
large sign
- idea of why would agree to large sign after small: think that auto
safety is very important to them
- comply with another request that goes off of that belief
Physiological Aspects of Threat & Aggression
- crucial mechanism: sympathetic branch of the (autonomic) nervous system
- gets organism ready for vigorous action
- comes online in the face of threat
- gets body’s resources prepared to deal with threat
- accelerate heart rate, speed up metabolism
- getting goosebumps, slows down digestion
- essentially utilizing resources for survival rather than others things
- directly associated with fight or flight response
- the “fight or flight” response (Walter Cannon)
- intense physiological arousal serves as mechanism for organism dealing with
crisis or threat in environment
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- decision of whether to fight or flee from the situation
- applies to both animals & humans
- Zebra seeing lion running toward him (flight) vs. attacking instead of
fleeing (fight)
- male aggression & hormones
- in general, hormones associated with aggression
- more testosterone -> more likely to be physically aggressive
- boys are more physically aggressive than girls (have more testosterone)
- girls are more relationally aggressive than boys
- relational aggression ex. talking badly about another person,
hurting others through exclusion, etc.
*both sexes have testosterone, yet it is significantly lower in women than
in the average man
- correlation between level of testosterone & how physically aggressive you are
- testosterone associated with violence, sex, & power
- both males & females exposed to testosterone in the womb
- boys produce more & levels peak around 4 months
- exposure to testosterone at this point affects brain development in the
future (less means better verbal skills, more can mean better visual-spatial
skills)
- some studies find relationship between pointer & ring fingers & aggression
- longer pointer finger means less testosterone exposure in womb
- longer ring finger means more testosterone in womb
*video suggests that there is a negative correlation (as one goes up, one goes
down) between the ratio & aggression
- bigger the ratio, the less aggressive you are
- replicated by the data from the class
- smaller 2D:4D ratio has been associated with greater exposure to testosterone in
the uterus in general
- did not quite find that in our data
- male mean for ratio of pointer to ring: 1.04
- female mean for ratio of pointer to ring: 1.03
Cultural & Cognitive Aspects of Threat & Aggression
- people vary in how aggressive they are
- unrealistically high self-esteem -> tend to be more aggressive
- take perceived slights very seriously & more likely to act aggressively
towards another when believe they have been slighted
- sensation seeking & impulsivity -> tend to be more aggressive
- sensation seeking is tendency to seek out variety of new experiences
- like to take risks, do extreme sports, etc.
- those who tend to act without thinking -> more likely to be aggressive
- how does culture affect aggression?
- explicit teaching (e.g., parents)
- how you are raised affects how aggressive you are
- can explicitly teach kids how to react & when to be aggressive
- subtle cues about what our friends think
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