SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY – CHAPTER 11 SUMMARY
Theoretical Perspectives onAggression: In Search of the Roots of Violence
- Aggression (intentional infliction of harm on others). This can be physical, or social.
- Most social psychologists reject that aggression is biologically determined, but evolutionary perspective
showing potentiality of such factors.
- Drive Theories – aggression may stem from external drives to harm others. Eg of this is frustration-
aggression hypothesis (frustration is a powerful determinant of aggression).
- Modern theories include general aggression model (agg is triggered by large range of input variables,
influencing arousal, affective stages, and cognition.) They recognize the imp of learning, individual diff,
affective states, and cognitive processes in aggression.
Causes of HumanAggression: Social, Cultural, Personal, and Situational
- Not all aggression stems from frustration. It is only a strong elicitor of aggression under specific, limited
- Provocation (actions that seem to be based off malicious intent) is a powerful elicitor of aggression. We
rarely ignore this, usually, react with same or higher level of aggression received from others.
- Higher levels of arousal can increase aggression if it exists beyond the situation that induced it (and thusly,
is interpreted as anger).
- Exposure to media violence can increase aggression in viewers. Can be due to priming aggressive
thoughts, weakening restraints against aggression.
- Exposure to violent pornography can increase willingness to act similarly. It can generate callous attitudes
towards sexual violence.
- Norms can require aggression, such as when threats are made to one’s honour in cultures of honour
(cultures where norms suggest aggression is appropriate behaviour when one’s honour is questioned). Eg
sexual jealousy in response to sexual infidelity.
- Trait aggression (when someone has stable disposition/tendency to be aggressive across situations).
Those with higher trait aggression have a lower threshold for aggression.
- People who have typeAbehaviour (high levels of competitiveness, time urgency, hostility) are more
irritable/aggressive than those with type B behaviour (patient, relaxed, easygoing).
- Those w