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Chapter 12

PSYC 2310 Chapter Notes - Chapter 12: Meta-Analysis, Sociobiology, Gender Role


Department
Psychology
Course Code
PSYC 2310
Professor
Saba Safdar
Chapter
12

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Social Psychology
Aggression
Although people use the word aggression regularly in life, it can be hard to define exactly what it
means.
- Different types of aggression
Emotional or hostile aggression: aggression in which one inflicts harm for its own sake on
another
Instrumental aggression: aggression in which one inflicts harm in order to obtain something of
value (self-defence, money, attention)
Aggression: physical or verbal behaviour that is intended to hard another individual who is
motivated to avoid such treatment
- Harms another
- Intentional
- Victim is motivated to avoid hard to them
- Doesn’t include accidents
Behavioural perspective (Bandura) – results in physical and personal injuries
Cognitive perspective (Scherer, Abeles, and Fischer) – aggression is behaviour that is intended
to harm another individual
- Bandura focuses on the outcome of behaviour
- Scherer takes a more cognitive-motivational approach focusing on the intention of the
perpetrator
How do biological factors influence aggression?
- Men who commit violent crimes such as rape and assault have higher testosterone
levels than men who committee property crimes like theft.
- Men with higher testosterone violated more rules while in prison
- Testosterone is associated with men’s aggressive behaviour
Instinct and Evolutionary Theories
- Theories that view aggression as innate share a common perspective as describing
something within a person responsible for aggressive tendencies
oAggression is viewed as built in or hardwired
oNot a learned behaviour
Freud’s Death Wish
- Believed that people possess a powerful death wish/drive
- To cope with this, people need to channel their energy somehow
- One possibility is to turn this energy inward and engage in self-destructive behaviour
- Or turn it outward and engage in aggression against other people
- He saw aggression as energy that builds up over time
oCalled catharsis
Catharsis: release of suppressed energy or emotion
- Greek for cleansing
- Blowing off steam (like hitting a pillow) is based on catharsis
- Evidence suggests it’s not an effective way of dealing with aggressive feelings and may
increase them
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- Catharsis is ineffective because imagining aggression may feel good, which an then
become rewarding
Lorenz’s Instinct Theory of Aggression
Instinct theory of aggression: a theory that describes aggression as innate biological drive
- Develops because only aggressive animals can ensure that they and their offspring will
survive
There’s a distinction between Lorenz’s theory and theories of sociobiology and evolutionary
psychology, these theories overlap in their understanding of aggressive behaviour in terms of
natural selections
- Women are at risk of experiencing aggression at the hands of a loved one
- 50% of women are killed by someone they had an intimate relationship with at some
point
- Women are more likely to experience sexual assault
oBut only a 1/10 sexual assaults are reported the police
oMore sexual assaults involve unwanted sexual touching rather than more sever
sexual attacks
Levels of sexual assault
- Level 1 the least serious form but can still include rape if no weapon was involved
- Level 2 is sexual assault with a weapon
- Level 3 aggravated assault with
Victimization rates are higher among those aged 15 to 24
Half the reports involve victims under the age of 18
People don’t report sexual assault because they don’t feel it was important enough
Sexual assault victims commonly experience anger, confusion, and frustration
Genetics
- One meta-analysis suggests that up to 50% of the variance in aggression may be
caused by genetic factors
- Rates of aggression are seen even by the age of 3
- Other research suggests that the role of genetics in predicting aggressive behaviour
comes from longitudinal research indicating that children who are aggressive early in life
and more likely to aggressive later
oAggression is stable
oHowever, environmental factors are likely also stable over time, so aggression
isn’t enough to prove that genetics alone explain aggressive behaviour
- 4 subscales
oPhysical aggression
oVerbal aggression
oAnger
oHostility
Hormones
- In almost all societies, males are more aggressive than females
- Linked with higher testosterone
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