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Chapter 10

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McGill University
PSYC 215
Michael Sullivan

Chapter 10 Aggression and Antisocial Behaviour Defining Aggression and Antisocial Behaviour Aggression is defined as any behaviour intended to harm another person who does not want to be harmed Therefore aggression is a behaviour you can see it it is not an emotion it is not a thought it is intentional and the intent is to harm It also stipulates that the victim wants to avoid the harm It is important to distinguish between different forms of aggression meaning how the aggressive act is expressed physically or verbally if it is displaced or not etc Direct aggression the victim is physically present Indirect aggression the victim is absent Males are more likely to use direct aggression while females are more likely to use indirect aggression Reactive aggression aka hostile affective angry impulsive or retaliatory aggression It is impulsive angry behaviour that is motivated by a desire to harm someone Proactive aggression aka instrumental aggression It is cold premeditated calculated behaviour that is motivated by some other goal Sometimes acts of aggression have mixed motives Violence is aggression that has as its goal extreme physical harm such as injury or death homicide aggravated assault forcible rape and robbery All violent acts are aggressive acts but not all aggressive acts are violent Antisocial behaviour has been described in a causal way it either damages interpersonal relationships or is culturally undesirable It is often equated with aggression Some acts of aggression are social in that they seek to monitor social relationshipsIs the World More or Less Violent Now Than in the PastQuantitative studies of body counts suggest that prehistoric societies were much more violentViolence is also decreasing over timeWe assume that violence is more prevalent now because it is more common QUIZ 1 Which of the following would be considered aggression a A baseball pitchers line drive accidentally hits the pitcher in the knee b A girl attempts to punch her little brother but misses c A depressed man commits suicide d All of the above 2 Which of the following would not be considered aggressiona A dentist giving a patient a shot of Novocain b A depressed man committing suicide c A sadomasochistic interaction d All of the above 3 According to the FBI which of the following would be considered violence a Arson b Motor vehicle theft c Robbery d All of the above 4 Sander becomes so angry at his roommate for stealing the keg of beer he bought for a party that Sander starts kicking and hitting him repeatedly Sanders actions area Aggressive b Violent c Aggressive and violent d Neither aggressive nor violent Is Aggression Innate or Learned If people are not inherently aggressive than making the perfect society will get rid of itInstinct TheoriesDarwin viewed aggressive behaviour as an evolutionary adaptation that had enabled animals and then humans to survive better It promoted survival of the speciesFreud argued that human motivational forces such as sex and aggression are based on instincts innate tendency to seek a particular goal o Eros constructive lifegiving instinct o Thanatos destructive death instinct Freud influenced Lorenz 1966 whose instinct theory of aggression posited a buildup of aggressive urges that if not released by some other kind of activity would result in aggression This is the hydraulic model of aggression and not a lot of support has been found However it still has an impact on clinical therapy in venting or cathartic exercises that have not been proven to be effectiveEmpirical evidence of innate automatic aggressive responses have been found for many species o Eg the colour red triggers aggression in a male Stickleback fish 100 of the timeLearning TheoriesAccording to social learning theory aggression is not an innate drive like hunger in search of gratification Aggression is learned by direct experience and by observing others Therefore the causes shift from internal to external with this theoryModeling observing and copying the behaviour of others This can weaken or strengthen aggressive responses o Bandura experiment children watched either an aggressive adult model a nonaggressive one or no model This was done with a Bobo doll o The children who had watched the aggressive model showed the highest level of aggression
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