Psychology final exam review:
Chapter 11: aggression
Aggression is behviour intended to cause any harm.
1. hostile aggression: is triggered by anger
2. instrumental aggression: hurt other out of a goal other than causing pain –
winning a football game by tackling the opponent or a lion killing a zebra to feed
Roots of aggression:
Instinct theory: unlearne and universal, aggression is an unconscious urge.
Frueds theory revolved around the Eros: instinct toward life and thanatos: instinct
toward death – these were the causes of aggression. He felt aggression needs to come out
Evolutionary perspective: aggression is genetically programed into men to perpetuate
• Zing yang Kue raised a cat and a mouse together and found that the cat was really
nice not only to the mouse but also to other roadents. This led to the realization
that aggression can be inhibited and is culturally produced.
• Criminal records and identical twin studies concordance rates are 50%
• Amygdala – important in classical conditioning and emotions – aggression
• Serotonin inhibits aggressive impulses, thus low levels can make one aggressive.
▯Bonobo (peaceful) and Chimps: looked at aggressive behavior and serotonin levels
amongst the two monkeys – that share 98% of our DNA, they are the same size same
physical and behavioral characteristics. Low serotonin = aggression.
• Testosterone – (weak positive correlation)– is higher in violent criminals. Men
are more aggressive on a regular basis but when provoked both sexes are equally
as aggressive. Women are more likely to be aggressive to partners but men are
more likely to by physically violent.
▯guys spit in a tube before and after a soccer game the fans of the winning team had
higher testosterone after the game than did the loosing team (no testosterone increase).
Putting men in a dominant position increases their testosterone.
• A biochemical influence you do have control over is alcohol. More drinks leads
to more aggression –
▯male subjects described relationship conflict and chose a conflict where they thought
both them and their partner were at fault. Group 1 was sober group 3 had placebo alcohol
and group 3 were drunk. They took measures of their self esteem prior to this and
concluded that those who had low self esteem were hugly impacted by alcohol as it made
them more insecure. Those who had high self esteem whether in the sober or placebo
group had similar rates of security.
Relationship Violence: • Canadian University students over all asult perpetrators are more likely to be
female except in Winnipeg. Yet type of aggression is when differences appear,
assaults resulted by severe injury are more likely to be men.
▯when you get physically hurt you’re aggression goes up, this was studied in an
experiment where they pt subjects ahnds in water. group 1 was luke warm and group 2
was freezing cold. They got more annoyed and irritated during this task, and later when
tested on a competitive task in which they were able to blast their opponent with a loud
noise this group did so more frequently.
• Hot weather is associated with violent crime, in such weather drivers without AC
are more likely to honk at a stalled car. Batters who were hit by a pitch were
more likely in hot weather = correlation not causation
▯participants filled out qestionare in either a regular temperature room or above 32 C,
they rated feelins and liking for others – g2 felt more tired and more aggrsive while rating
others more negatively.
▯subjects completed stories about traffic accident while either in 21C or 32 C room –
group 2 wrote more aggressive responses.
▯heat and police judgement – subjects were going through police training with burglory
stimulation and being faced with one with a crow bar (police officers shouldn’t draw a
weapen in this case) but if they were in hotter weather they were more aggressive and
tended to shot more. ** (read paper)
Frustration, a friend of aggression:
Frustration aggression theory: peoples perception of being prevented from achieving a
goal (keeping us from what we want = frustration) will increase probability of aggression.
The more closely you are to a goal the more aggressive you’ll be.
• Kids were either allowed to play with toys or had to wait before playing, those
who had to wait were more aggressive with the toys once they were able to play
Things that inhibit or increase likelihood of aggressing to somebody:
1. size and strength of person responsible for frustration
2. persons ability to retaliate
3. if frustration is understandable aggression will decrease.
Relative deprivation: perception that you have less than you deserve or more than those
similar to you.
▯to be apart of elite you needed a 8.5 on a test, g1 got 6 and g2 got 8.2 – and were much
more frustrated and aggressive.
Other social triggers:
• Social exclusion
• Aggressive stimuli: objects that associate with aggressive respones – mere
presence of one (such as a gun) can promote aggressive behavior.
▯people were made angry and in a room with either a gun or a badminton racket. Those with the gun administered more shocks.
• Seeks to prove that this is the most peaceful time of our existence, natives were
way worse. Men killing men was more frequent, parts of the bible – kill all
except girls to rape, fewer genocides, cruelty as entertainment, punishment for
• we think we are worse now because of – better reporting, guilt for our we’ve
treated first nations,
next lecture on aggression:
• aggression can be learned, social learning theory: learn social behavior by
observing others and imitating them – bobo doll experiment – when kids saw
adults being aggressive to bobo they micmicked the adult but added additional
aggression through being vocally mean to the doll displaying their understanding
of the intent to harm.
• today we are exposed to so much tv that s aggressive, which make them appear
like a natural discourse of life,
▯frequency of TV viewing at age 8, those who had watched the most in this correlational
data had serious criminal records by age 30. A study followed up this study to further
strengthen it which encompassed: both males and females that watched violent TV by
age 8 increased the chance of criminal acts by age 30 – particularly in men.
Children and aggression:
▯teachers rated boy students aggressiveness –kids were randomly assigned to watch
either a police show or non violent bike race. They then played hockey and blind
observer rated aggressive acts. Highly aggressive kids that had also watched a violent
show were more aggressive, where as midly aggressive kids who watched the violent
show were not aggressive.
Violent video games:
Cover store: ethical lie told to patrons (CHECK ONLINE FOR THIS EXPERIMENTS
COVER STORY). Kids either played mortal combat or a gold tournament game. Later
competed in a reaction time task with confederate. The winner was able to punish the
looser with loud noises. The game was rigged so the experimenter won. The depedent
variable: mean noise intensity and number of high intense blasts. Males who played the
violent video game were more aggressive than those who playe golf – women too but less
• If a man already has an underlying aggressive tendency or personality, they are
much more likely to be aggressive after being exposed to violent tv or
Why does the media promote aggression?
1. News weakens against violence “if they can do it so can I” 2. Observational learning – in videogames active agents: so that’s how you do it
3. Priming – anger and aggression are more available
4. Desensitization to violence.
5. Makes you think outside world is dangerous. Become hostile to those who
approach you on the streets.
▯Nonviolent volley ball game and violent police shows were displayed to subjects, then
watched aggressive encounter between preschoolers and looked at skin conductance
(arousal). Those who watched volleyball game were more aroused than were those who
watched aggressive police show.
Sexual aggression and attitudes:
▯Subjects watched a fi;m with either: non sexual content or men over powering women.
Several days later subjects were surveyed by different experimenter about violence
against women. In group two they were more accepting of violence against women.
Significant because this is DAYS AFTER watching film.
▯men were angered by a female confederate then viewed either: a non erotic but violent
film, an erotic but nonviolent film or rape. Then chose schock intensity to learner to help
them learn something (same person that got them angry before). Group three gave the
most intense shocks.
How can we reduce aggression?
Punishment: works best under three conditions: consistent, certain/absolute and prompt
▯children were in a room with a toy that was super awesome. They were either told that
if you touch it… we will go home (severe punishment) or I’ll be annoyed (mild
punishment). No kid broke the rule, but later once the rule was uplifted almost all kids
played with toy except some didn’t from group 2.
Field study in which the researchers had police respond to domestic violence in 1 of three
1. On the spot counseling
2. Asking aggresser to leave for 8 hours
3. Arrested aggressor on the spot.
The dependent variable was the percent of repeat offenders. Group 2 had the most,
followed by group 1 then group 3 – consistency is key!
Catharsis theory: blowing off steam relieves bilt up aggression – NOT TRUE.
▯subjects primed with either a pro or anti catharsis article and later tol to write an essay
about an issue of their choice. They were insulted as they got negative feed back from a
confed “worse essay ever”. Those who read the pro article wanted to punch something
much more than did the anti people. Once they let some from each groups punch a
punching bag – made the pro people even MORE aggressive – they knew this because
theyw ere able to give people blasts and the pro people gave more blasts than did the anti. How to reduce aggression:
• Express anger less aggressively
• Defuse anger – without person person contact and ability to say sorry – like in a
car – people get more aggressive.
• Search problem solving skills – build empathy.
Chapter 12: Prejudice
Consequences of stereotypes:
A girl like me film:
• Bad hair: you hve to relax it, its cinky, looks like black girl hair –
• study black children – picked white dolls over black dolls
• ancestors ripped out of culture – ‘from africa’ brings on anger loss of identity other studies like this one: with native and white kids – most wanted to play with white
doll and thought that the white doll was the nicest.
study of black and white children from the south and the north U.S.
Prejudice: affective: negative/positive attitude based on indivudal’s group membership.
How to figure out if somebody is prejudice:
Implicit association test: categorization task – is able to see somebody’s implicit views
through their reaction time in connecting things together. If the words do not match in
their head (nice and black) it will take longer for them to do so thus displaying their
Modern racism scale was used in this study:
▯flash either a black or white persons face really quickly then the oarticipants rate
onsense neutral lstimuli. Those who were prejudice rated the stimuli lower if a black face
had appeared = prejudice.
Others include neosexism scale and modern homonegativity scale – al measures
prejudice in an indirect and subtle manner.
Stereotyping: cognitive :generalization whereby group members are assigned identical
characteristics – schema
Discriminaton: behavioural negative behavior based on indivudal group membership.
Formal discrimination: ex. whether you get the job or not (if you don’t get it because
Interpersional discrimination: less verbally positive, shoeter interviews – but may not
prevent them from getting the job.
Landlords: caller asked about advertised accomodations, 1 unidentified orientation and 2
– identified as gay. This group didn’t get called back more often. In a restudy, they were
even less likely to get the home if they had AIDS and even more unlikely if they had
come from a womens shelter nd less likely
Categorization allows us to simplify information – heuristics this can lead to
stereotypes which can lead to prejudice.
Cognitive Facots to this:
• Distinctiveness – distcintive traits and behaviours stand out – we rely on the
▯participants chose a gift for a taget person this person had both distinctive and non
distinctive qualities, they were both a tennis player and a skydiver. The subjects chose to
give the person skydiving books over tennis rackets.
▯subjects viewed 50 slides of them, 1 – 10 men were just over 6 foot (overestimated by
5% how many of the men in the slides were over 6 foot). 2 10 men were well over 6
foot (overestimated by 50%).
▯in a variation, overestimated violent actions of men (but not nonviolent).
Racial categorization ▯ ubjects were shown black white or gray ovals and had to determine the colour – then
shown people’s faces and had to determine the race of the person – white black or
ambigious. Subjecst completed the modern racism scale and the researchers looked at 2
DV’s – response latency and nonverbal vocalization (hesittions). At first they were only
going to do RL but they noticed the ‘ums’ so added it on.
In ovals: no differences in time latency between prejudice and non. Significant
difference in ambigious face targets.
Hesitations: prejudice made a lot of speech arrors and hesitation whe ambigious faces
were presented made no noises when it was clear what race or colour faces/ovels were.
Non prejudice didn’t make any hesitations at any point.
In groups and outgroups:
In group bias: tendency to evaluate ingroup members more positively than outgroup
Out group hemogemy: they’re all alike
• people in Canada rate their own ethnicity highest.
• smile is perceived more negatively when its displayed by an outgroup member.
▯british teens viewed abstract art and were asked which they liked. They were told their
taste is like “this style which is liked by these kinds of people” without meeting other
people who liked the art, they distributed more money to that group than other groups.
In group bias can be created with coin toss or shared birthdays – minimal relations to
Belonging to a group provides us with a social idenitity and makes us more protective of
that group to secure our identities, even in minimal groups.
▯subjects were told they could give 5 bonus points to another student in a different class.