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Chapter 13

Textbook Chapter 13 - Aggression

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University of Toronto Mississauga
Emily Impett

Chapter 13: Aggression  Aggression is an intentional action aimed at doing harm or causing pain to another living being who is motivated to avoid such treatment. o Hostile aggression is done with the intention of directly inflicting harm onto an individual. o Instrumental aggression is harming an individual in the process of attaining some other goal. SITUATIONAL DETERMINANTS OF AGGRESSION______________________________________ Provocation  We tend to respond to direct provocation with aggression, and often act more aggressively in relation to the initial provocation (ex. the gang quote “if you stab me, I’ll shoot you”  We tend to not reciprocate aggressively if we attribute provocations to unintentional factors (i.e. It was only an accident) Frustration  Frustration is the internal state that accompanies the thwarting of an attempt to achieve some goal.  Aggression increases in direct proportion to these 4 factors: o The amount of satisfaction the person anticipates receiving from meeting their goal o How completely the person is prevented from achieving their goal o How frequently the person is blocked from achieving their goal o How close the individual believes they are to achieving their goal  In a study, a confederate cut in front of a participant waiting in line to see a nd th movie. The participant wasndither 2 in line or 12 in line.  The participants who were 2 acted more aggressively towards the confederate Heat  Social theorists observed that violent crime rates are higher when the temperatures are hotter.  People are also more violent during hot months, such as July and August. Murder and rape increase during the summer months.  Major league baseball pitchers are more likely to hit batters as the weather gets hotter and hotter.  Why do high temperatures make people more aggressive? There are two possible explanations: o The first explanation is that people are aroused by hotter temperatures, but they are largely unaware that the heat is the source of their arousal. When they encounter circumstances that prompt anger – for example, a frustrating driver – they misattribute their arousal to that person, giving rise to an amplified feeling of anger and aggression. o Another explanation is that heat triggers not just undifferentiated arousal, but specific feelings of anger in particular that increase the likelihood of all kinds of aggressive behaviour. Alcohol  Marital violence is 4 to 6 times more likely if a partner is an alcoholic.  Both boys and girls who bully others are 5 times more likely to report alcohol use than those who do not bully.  In an experimental study, male participants in heterosexual relationships were asked to describe a current conflict in their relationship. Group one drank vodka to Ontario’s legal limit, and the control group consumed a drink that smelled and tasted like alcohol, but was not alcoholic.  Intoxicated participants reported more negative feelings than those who were sober. Social Exclusion  In an experiment, participants were asked to chat with 4-5 other members for 15 minutes and asked to write down the names of people they would like to work in a group task with.  In one condition, the participant was told “everyone wants to work with you”. In the second, the participant was told “no one wanted to work with you”.  Later, the participants played a computer game with a new person. The participants had the choice of blasting the confederate with a loud noise.  Participants who were rejected in the first task were more likely to act aggressively towards the confederate and blast them with noise.  Why might social exclusion cause people to become more aggressive? One explanation states that in our evolutionary past, being rejected by the group had many negative effects, since we are so dependent on others for food, shelter, defense, and affection. Thus, being socially rejected triggers a threat defense system, specifically an increase in defensive aggressive tendencies.  Social rejection also stimulates the feeling of pain. People who feel rejected report higher levels of chronic physical pain, physical ailments, and even greater pain during childbirth. fMRI scans show that the part of the brain that corresponds to physical pain is activated when a person experiences social rejection. Aggressive Cues  An increase in aggressive cues (such as guns and other weapons) can cause people to act more violently.  Homicide rates in countries all over the world are highly correlated with the availability of handguns.  In a study, participants were put in a room with a shock machine. They were made angry and were allowed to administer shocks in return. There were three conditions. In the first condition, there was a gun beside the shock machine. In the second, there was a badminton racket beside the machine, and in the third, there was no object beside the machine.  Participants who were exposed to the gun were more likely to become aggressive and use the shock machine. Income Inequality  Murder rates in countries with high levels on income inequality are higher than countries with low income inequality.  Powerful feelings of social rejection felt by individuals at the bottom in unequal societies might trigger violence. Media Violence  The Western med
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