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Final Exam Study Guide

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University of Toronto Scarborough
Steve Livingston

Antisocial Behaviors and Aggression What is aggression, and how does it differ (if at all) from violence? There are many different definitions of aggression in the psychological literature As a working definition: (1) Overt behavior that is intended to cause physical or mental harm to someonething (2) Perpetrated against someonething that does not want to be harmed (3) Direct indirect; active passive; physical verbal Violence is usually a product of aggression and is usually performed for physical harm to someone. That is only part of the definition of aggression as aggression can be expressed in different contexts. What is hostile aggression? What is instrumental aggression? Give examples. Hostile aggression is driven by the desire to inflict harm for its own sake. Example: Anger towards a particular person that causes you to lose control of yourself and have one goal in mind, to brutally hurt someone in order to reduce that arousalanxietyanger. Instrumental aggression is driven by the desire to inflict harm to obtain some additional goal (other than inflicting harm). Example: In order to receive some personal gains, you cause harm to others in a physical or emotional manner. In what ways can aggression be rewarding to the aggressor? (or, at least, perceived as rewarding) Aggression can be perceived as rewarding to the aggressor because it helps cope with the anxiety created by aversive events and also provides the aggressor the sense of authority or dominance. This dominance provides them with the belief that they can achieve what they desire through acts of aggression upon others. What is the difference between physical aggression and relational aggression? What gender differences have been observed with respect to the use of these forms of aggression? Physical aggression is where hostile or some sort of physical actionbehaviour intended to create harm to someone. Most often when talking about aggression, there is intent behind actionsbehaviours. Relational aggression or emotional aggression is more focused on verbal assaults. The key difference with relational aggression is that it can involve the withholding of things. It could either be withholding some positive or introducing something negative. Withholding food from someone starving could be considered as an act of physical aggression. Relational aggression could also include things such as the silent treatment. Physical aggression is usually exerted by males and relational aggression is usually exerted by females. In what way could automatic cognitive processes lead to increased aggression? How do instinct theories explain aggression? What limitations do these theories generally have? Instinct theories were proposed by Freud and Lorenz. Sigmund Freud argued for a death instinct (thanatos) which he claimed we must direct at ourselves, at others, or else put to productive use. Konrad www.notesolution.comLorenz (among others) argued that aggression was favored by natural selection. They both agreed on the fact that aggressive energy is instinctual i.e. innate and unlearned. The limitations for these theories were: - 6000 supposed instincts (too big of a list). - Fails to account for the variation in aggressiveness, from person to person and culture to culture. What genetic, neuroanatomical, and physiological factors have been suggested to have links with aggression? What evidence exists to support each of these linkages? Genetic Factors Aggressive and passive strains of mice, foxes, and other species have been created through selective breeding by researchers. Evidence from human twin studies suggests that aggressive tendencies are at least partially due to genetic heritability, but socialization seems to carry the most weight. Neuroanatomical Factors Researchers have found neural systems in both animals and humans that facilitate aggression. When the scientists activate these areas in the brain, hostility increases; when they deactivate it hostility decreases. Docile animals can thus be provoked into rage, and raging animals into submission. Abnormal brains can contribute to abnormally aggressive behaviour. Physiological Factors Heightened serum testosterone is linked to increases in angry emotions and tendency to engage in violent behavior Men tend to physically aggress more often than do women Female-to-male transsexuals often show increased aggression after beginning sex hormone therapy However, the opposite pathway (i.e., that our behavior alters levels of sex hormone secretion) appears to be the stronger of the linkages Low blood sugar levels correlate with aggression Alcohol myopia theory of violence under intoxication. Alcohol myopia was proposed by Claude Steel and he proposed that alcohol consumption narrow your focus of attention. That focus of attention on particular individuals and how they behave drives the behaviour of the individual who has consumed alcohol. Damage to amygdala (brain structure) is often associated with inappropriate expressions of violence, aggression, and use of verbal expletives How does frustration-aggression theory explain aggression? What form(s) of aggression does it best explain? How does the concept of deprivation relate to aggression in the context of this theory? Frustration-aggression theory is the theory that frustration triggers a readiness to aggress. It best explains the catharsis as the whole boiling up of emotions results in frustration which then results into an act of aggression. The role of deprivation with theory fits in a more comparative role known as relative deprivation. It is the perception that one is less well off than others to whom one compares oneself. An example of that would be raising the pay of city cops and the frustration is seen among firefighters for not receiving the increment in pay. What is displaced aggression? Give an example.
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