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Chapter 11

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PSYC 260
Lara Aknin

CHAPTER 11 Aggression – an intentional behavior aimed at causing either physical or psychological pain  Aggression need not be learned but can be modified by experience  Hostile aggression – an aggression stemming from feelings of anger and aimed at inflicting pain or injury  Instrumental aggression – aggression as a means to some goal other than causing pain Eros – the instinct toward life, posited by Freud Thanatos – according to Freud, an instinctual drive towards death, leading to aggressive actions CHEMICAL INFLUENCES ON AGGRESSION Amygdala – an area in the core of the brain that is associated with aggressive behavior  Neural mechanisms can be modified by social factors; for example, being in the presence of other dominant apes vs. in the presence of less dominant ones Seratonin – a chemical in the brain that may inhibit aggressive impulses  Violent criminals have particularly low levels of naturally produced serotonin  Decrease in serotonin, aggressive behavior increases Testosterone – a male sex hormone associated with aggression  Juvenile delinquents have higher testosterone levels, less socially responsible, cruder, associated with social dominance GENDER AND AGGRESSION  Boys are more aggressive physically and more overtly  Girls tend to express their aggressive feelings more covertly – gossiping engaging in backbiting spreading false rumors  Men are more likely to interpret ambiguous situations as provocative, so more likely to respond aggressively  Women’s aggression more likely to be directed at romantic partner while physical aggressiveness of men is directed at other men  Male violence does more emotio
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