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Chapter 12

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University of Guelph
ANTH 2160
Dan Yarmey

Chapter 12 – Aggression Examples of Aggression - Massacres in Mexico - Shooting and bombing in Norway Definitions Emotional/Hostile Aggression – Aggression inflicted simply to cause harm. Instrumental Aggression – harming someone in order to obtain something of value. Aggression – physical or verbal behaviour intended to harm another individual who is motivated to avoid such treatment. In summary, aggression has 3 main points: - Behaviour that harms others - Harming is intentional - Victim motivated to avoid harm High testosterone linked with aggression in male prison inmates Inmates who committed violent crimes had higher testosterone than those with property crimes Catharsis – release of suppressed energy or emotion - Seen by society as good – “go blow off some steam” - Dangerous, as it can turn in to rewarding aggressive feelings if “blowing off steam” actually feels good Instinct theory of aggression – describes aggression as an innate biological drive Aggression is often caused by a loved one Most sexual assault victims are women Many sexual assault cases not reported to police as they weren’t seen as important enough Genetics - may be related to aggression - aggression levels are known to be fairly stable/consistent throughout ones life Hormones - males are more aggressive than females - high aggression linked to high level of testosterone - may be explained by evolution – male dominance Social learning theory – behaviour as learned by observing or modelling others’ behaviour as well as by the presence of punishments, rewards, or reinforcements What used to seem a large gap in terms of aggression with males and females is now a smaller gap Low serotonin levels linked with aggression Alcohol linked with aggression Social Psychological Factors can influence opinion on aggression Frustration-Aggression theory Frustration-aggression theory – frustration leads to the desire to behave aggressively, and that aggression is caused by frustration. Displacement – peoples tendency to aggress against others when source of frustration is unavailable o provocation can lead to anger displacement The Impact of Relative Deprivation – feel lower when you compare yourself to better others, can lead to frustration Poor economic conditions can lead to aggression Critique of Frustration-Aggression theory- aggression is one of many outcomes of frustration – could also be sadness, disappointment, etc. Cognitive- neoassociation theory – aggression caused by experiencing negative affects of any kind, which in turn evokes aggression related thoughts, feelings, ideas, and memories Hot Temperatures – as temperature increases, so does the incidence of aggressive acts - this is other than in extreme heat, where aggression begins to decrease again Other unpleasant conditions can increase aggression as well – pollution, pain, noise, etc Cues to aggression – mere object
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