PSYC 215 Chapter Notes - Chapter 10: Longitudinal Study, Passive Smoking, Mass Media

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28 Sep 2014
Chapter 10
June 2004 – Armin Meiwes sent to prison for killing + eating Bernd Juergen Brandes
in 2001  internet advertisement for thin, healthy man “for slaughter”
oTwo had sex (sadomasochistic)  Meiwes stabbed Brandes to death and ate
him over several month by freezing him
oMeiwes had contact with 100s of people who had the desire to kill and eat
oNow in prison is a vegetarian and Green Party member
oWants to write memoirs to help people with similar fantasies to get help
oHelps find evidence of other cannibal murders
Aggression – any behaviour intended to harm another person who is motivated to
avoid the harm
oThree features
Aggression is a behaviour (not an emotion or thought)
It is intentional (intent is to harm)
The victim wants to avoid harm (suicide, sadomasochism no count)
oDon’t have to fulfill the act to be counted as aggression (missing a bullet)
Example – Iraqi journalist throwing a shoe at Bush
Direct aggression – any behaviour that intentionally harms another person who is
physically present (throwing a shoe at someone)
Indirect aggression – any behaviour that intentionally harms another person who is
physically absent (burning a man’s house while he’s out)
Aggressive acts differ in function and motivation
oMan killing his wife and lover versus hiring a hitman
Motivated by anger versus motivated by money (the hitman)
Reactive aggression (hostile, affective, angry, impulsive, retaliatory aggression) –
“hot” impulsive, angry behaviour that is motivated by a desire to harm someone
Proactive aggression – instrumental aggression, “cold”, premeditated, calculated,
harmful behaviour that is a means to some practical or material end
Reactive and proactive are highly correlated but the motives are mixed
Violence – aggression that has as its goal extreme physical harm, such as injury or
oFBI calls four crimes violent: homicide, aggravated assault, forcible rape,
Antisocial behaviour – behaviour that either damages interpersonal relationships or
is culturally undesirable
oAggression is linked but not necessarily the case
oLittering, cheating, lying = antisocial (but not aggressive)
Prehistoric societies were more violent than ours today (based on skeletons)
oDeath rates per battle were higher before despite bombs today
oIf 20th century wars killed same proportions as ancient tribal wars, death toll is
20x higher  2 billion instead of 100 million
oEstimated murders in Britain: 24/100000 in 14th century vs 0.6/100000 1960s
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oBattle deaths in interstate wars dropped from 65,000 in 1950s to 2000 in
oDecreases in global conflict + deadly violence campaigns
Aggression seems to work in the short term but not in the long term
oNature says yes culture says no
Instinct – an innate (inborn, biologically programmed) tendency to seek a particular
goal, such as food, water or sex
oDarwin – instinct theory of aggression – aggressive behaviour = evolutionary
adaptation  fighting to stay alive
oFreud – human motivational forces (sex/aggression)  drive for sensory/sexual
gratification as primary human instinct
Eros – in Freudian theory, the constructive, life-giving instinct
Thanatos – in Freudian theory, the destructive, death instinct
oLorenz – if aggressive urges build up they will be released through activity
Modeling – observing and copying or imitating the behaviour of others
oCan weaken/strengthen aggressive responding (depending on punishing or
oBandura experiment – preschool children with aggressive adult role model,
nonaggressive role model or on model
Aggressive model abused the inflatable clown Bobo doll
Nonaggressive model played with Tinker Toys
Experimenter told the kids they were leaving and to say goodbye
Another room had aggressive toys and nonaggressive toys
Children who watched the aggressive model had high levels of
oChildren could help or hurt another child’s chance of wining a prize by
pressing a green “HELP” button or a red “HURT” button
They were told that if they pressed the red button the handle would get
hot and the other kid would burn himself
Those kids who previously watched a violent movie pressed HURT
more often
oBased on culture
oExample – cats usually prey on rats, but if kittens and rats are raised together
they won’t kill each other  if kittens raised in isolation, 54% of them will kill
rats  if the mother killed rats, 85% of kittens will kill rats
Nature and nurture both play a part in aggression  people learn how to behave
aggressively and how to control their aggression
Frustration-aggression hypothesis – proposal that “the occurrence of aggressive
behaviour always presupposes the existence of frustration” and “the existence of
frustration always leads to some form of aggression”
oYale University Group based on Freud
Aggression = “primordial reaction” to frustration
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oMiller wanted to change the second statement to “frustration produces
instigations to a number of different types of responses, one of which is an
instigation to some form of aggression”
Frustration – the blockage of or interference with a personal goal
oAnger, frustration, distraught, upsetting behaviour = aggressive behaviour
oAngry people aggress themselves in hope that it will make them feel better
People want to remedy their mood  believe that venting is healthy
oAnger does not directly or inevitably cause aggression
oEmotions are characterized by arousal
oAggression can be increased by “excitation transfer”
oStudy – some participants exercised on a bike, some did not
They were provoked by a confederate or not
Participants could punish the confederate
If they were provoked, they were more aggressive if they were on a
Attributions we make of other peoples behaviour are strong indicators of our
behaviour itself
oIf one perceives others aggressive, they will increase in aggressiveness
Hostile attribution bias – the tendency to perceive ambiguous actions by others as
oMeta-analysis = in 41 studies, 6000 participants showed strong relationship
between hostile attribution of intent and aggressive behaviour
Hostile perception bias – the tendency to perceive social interactions in general as
being aggressive
oMaking inferences about other situations that you’re not part of
Hostile expectation bias – the tendency to assume that people will react to potential
conflicts with aggression
oAggressive people expect others to be aggressive more than nonaggressives
Biologically – people begin to act aggressively around puberty
oTremblay – world’s most aggressive human beings are very young children
Toddlers in day care usually had physical aggression 25% of the time,
more so than adults (even gangs)
oPeople become less aggressive over time but some get more aggressive
oMost dangerous = late adolescence and early adulthood (extreme aggression)
oAverage age of violent offenders = 15-30, average age of murderers = 27
Fight or flight syndrome – a response to stress that involves aggressing against
others or running away
Tend and befriend syndrome – a response to stress that involves nurturing others
and making friends
Boys vs Girls and aggression
oBoys – more fight or flight
As age increases boys become more aggressive
Physical aggression = greater
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