Aggression - Review Sheet.docx

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Elizabeth Page- Gould

Aggression  Aggression = intentional behavior aimed at causing physical or psychological pain. o Types of Pain:  Physical Aggression = Aggression inflicting physical pain.  Verbal or Relational Aggression = Saying or doing psychologically hurtful things. o Goal of Pain:  Hostile Aggression = Aggressive behavior that stems from feelings of anger and has the goal of inflicting pain.  Instrumental Aggression = Inflicts pain and the pain is a middle step toward another goal.  Approaches to Aggression o Genetic Predisposition – Basic theoretical premise: aggression is adaptive and has survival value. Earliest evidence: animals can be bred for aggression and twin studies find high heritability for aggression.  Amygdala  Stimulating amygdala can lead to aggression.  Depends on context: o Sometimes leads to withdrawal/fear o Relative social status matters  Higher status = aggression  Lower status = withdrawal/fear  Pre Frontal Cortex  Generally involved in planning and behavioral regulation.  PFC may be the regulator of aggressive impulses.  Murderers have less PFC activity than normal controls.  PFC becomes activated when contemplating an aggressive act.  Testosterone  The steroid hormone testosterone may increase aggression. o Smaller 2D:4D ratios correlated with greater exposure to androgens (prenatal testosterone) in the womb. o Smaller 2D:4D ratios correlated with aggression. o 'The Finger Ratio' how the ratio of the index finger and ring finger (= the '2D:4D digit ratio' finger length) ***Look at slide 15 for image or 2D:4D ratio***  However: o Injecting testosterone does not increase aggression o Testosterone-aggression has a small effect size, r=0.14  Seratonin  Neurotransmitter related to many aspects of experience  May inhibit aggressive impulses o Violent criminals have less serotonin than normals o Serotonin antagonists (blockers) increase aggression o Chemical Influence: Alcohol  Alcohol disinhibits behavior in general  Reduced self-consciousness  Deindividuation  Reduced attention to consequences of action  Relationship between alcohol and aggression:  In 65% of homicides and 55% of domestic violence, assailant and/or victim had been drinking.  In lab studies comparison alcohol with placebo: o People give stronger shocks. o Report more anger when thinking about conflict with romantic partner. o Pain, Discomfort, and Aggression o Frustration-Aggression Theory = Aggressions stems from frustration.  Frustration = The perception that you have been prevented from attaining a goal.  More aggression when:  You are close to the goal  Frustration is unexpected, intentional, or unjustified  Can’t retaliate against cause of frustra
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