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Chapter 13

PSYB10 – Chapter 13 – Aggression.pdf

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Yoel Inbar

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PSYB10 – Chapter 13 – Aggression
Refers to behavior motivates by feelings of anger
and hostility and whose primary aim is to harm
another: either physically or psychologically
Genocide in Rwanda emerged in
part for purely hostile reasons:
Hutus seeking revenge on Tutsis
out of anger about past hostilities
Refers to behavior that is intended to harm another
in the service of motives other than pure hostility
Much aggression involves a mix of hostile and
instrumental motives = football player intentionally
harming another out of aggressive emotion (hostile)
or for example because he wants to make his team
win (instrumental)
People harm others to gain status,
to attract attention, to acquire
wealth and to advance political/
ideological causes
Some of the genocide in Rwanda
was done in pursuit of political
purposes: The Hutus were seeking
to displace the more powerful
Determinant of aggression = Frustration
! The thwarting of an individual’s attempts to
achieve some goal. Individuals act aggressively
when they feel thwarted in their attempt to reach
their goal (according to our beloved Miller and
Apparently they both said aggression increases in
direct proportion to:
1) Amount of satisfaction a person anticipates
receiving from meeting the goal
2) How completely the person is prevented
from achieving the goal
3) How frequently the person is blocked from
achieving this goal
4) How close the individual believes he/she is
to achieving that goal
Study =
- A confederate cut in front of
people waiting patiently in a line
for a movie
In one condition – the target was
12th in line and in the other the
target was 2nd in line
The target who was 2nd in line was
much more aggressive in response
than the target in 12th place – just
like the frustration-aggression
hypothesis suggests "
Frustration might not always lead to aggression (2nd
problem with frustration-aggression hypothesis)
Learned helplessness = passive and depressive
responses some people show when their goals are
blocked and they believe they have no control over
their outcomes.
Study =
Dogs were shocked and were
prevented from escaping the pain
After repeated exposure to this
uncontrollable negative stimulus
the dogs no longer responded with
aggression – instead they
collapsed into this pitiful state of
resignation and helplessness
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