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Chapter 11 Aggression.

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1 Chapter 11 Aggression

2 Table 11.1: The Violent Crime Clock
Based on Federal Bureau of Investigations statistics

3 Is This an Act of Aggression?
Accidentally injuring someone. Working tenaciously to try to sell a product to a customer. Biting someone on the neck. Swinging a stick at someone but missing. Hurling insults at someone. Deliberately failing to prevent harm. Murdering for money. Hiring someone to break a competitor’s kneecaps. Hitting others while in a rage.

4 What Is Aggression? By 1983, there were more than 250 different definitions of aggression. Aggression is defined as behavior that is intended to harm another individual How do we know someone’s intentions? Aggressive behavior can come in many different forms.

5 Language of Aggression
Violence refers to extreme acts of aggression. Anger consists of strong feelings of displeasure in response to a perceived injury. Hostility is a negative, antagonistic attitude toward another person or group.

6 Types of Aggression Instrumental Aggression: Harm is inflicted as a means to a desired end. Emotional Aggression: Harm is inflicted for its own sake. Are these distinct categories or endpoints on a continuum?

7 Cultural, Gender, and Individual Differences

8 Figure 11.1: Violence Around the World
Based on Federal Bureau of Investigations statistics

9 Culture and Aggression
Cultures differ with respect to: The forms violence typically takes People’s attitudes toward various kinds of aggression Cultures differ in aggression involving children. However, some societies are known for their nonviolence.

10 Table 11.2: NonViolent Societies
From Bruce Bonta, "Cooperation and Competition in Peaceful Societies" Psychological Bulletin, 121, , Copyright © 1997 by the American Psychological Association. Reprinted with permission.

11 Subcultures Within a Country
Aggression varies within particular societies as a function of: Age Class Race Region

12 Putting Common Sense to the Test…
True or False? In virtually every culture, males are more violent than females. Answer: True…Let’s see why!

13 Putting Common Sense to the Test…
True or False? For virtually any category of aggression, males are more aggressive than females. Answer: False… Let’s see why!

14 Gender and Aggression Universal findings that men are more violent than women. Differences stable over time and place. Challenges to the notion that men are more aggressive than females. Boys tend to be more overtly aggressive. Girls often are more indirectly, or relationally, aggressive.

15 Figure 11.2: Gender and Types of Aggression

16 Origins of Aggression

17 Is Aggression Innate? Instinct Theories
Freud: We have a death instinct. Lorenz: Aggression is an innate, instinctual motivation. Problem with instinct theories is their reliance on circular reasoning.

18 Is Aggression Innate? Evolutionary Psychology
Similarities between Lorenz’s instinct theory and evolutionary psychology. Emphasis placed on genetic survival rather than survival of the individual. Accounts for inhibition of aggression against genetically related others.

19 Is Aggression Innate? Evolutionary Psychology (cont.)
Why gender differences? Males aggress to achieve and maintain status. Females aggress to protect offspring. What about the historical and cultural diversity of human aggression? Response: Evolutionary and social factors are compatible and complementary.

20 Is Aggression Innate? Behavior Genetics
Is an aggressive personality type due to genes? Mixed overall results on the heritability of aggression.

21 Figure 11.3: Fingers, Testosterone, and Aggression
Based on Bailey and Hurd, 2005.

22 Is Aggression Innate? The Role of Testosterone
Are there specific biological factors that influence aggression? Strong positive correlation between testosterone levels and aggression. But correlation is not causation!

23 Is Aggression Innate? The Role of Serotonin
The neurotransmitter serotonin appears to restrain impulsive acts of aggression. Low levels of serotonin associated with high levels of aggression. Boosting serotonin can dampen aggressiveness. But is the lack of serotonin an innate cause of aggression?

24 Putting Common Sense to the Test…
True or False? Children who are spanked or otherwise physically disciplined (but not abused) for behaving aggressively tend to become less aggressive. Answer: False… Let’s see why!

25 Is Aggression Learned? Aggressive behavior is strongly affected by learning. Aggression can be positively as well as negatively reinforced. Positive reinforcement: Aggression produces desired outcomes. Negative reinforcement: Aggression prevents or stops undesirable outcomes.

26 Punishment and Aggression
Punishment is most likely to decrease aggression when it: Immediately follows the aggressive behavior Is strong enough to deter the aggressor Is consistently applied and perceived as fair and legitimate by the aggressor Problems with using punishment to reduce aggressive behaviors.

27 Social Learning Theory
Behavior is also learned through the observations of others. Bandura et al.’s (1961) inflatable doll study. Aggression most likely to increase if models are rewarded and not punished for their aggressive behaviors.

28 Social Learning Theory (cont.)
By watching aggressive models, people: Learn specific aggressive behaviors Develop more positive attitudes and beliefs about aggression in general Construct aggressive “scripts” Nonaggressive models decrease aggressive behavior.

29 Socialization and Gender Differences
Males and females are rewarded differently for aggression. Also have different models Social roles have a strong influence on gender differences in physical aggression. Continuity of aggression is less true of females than males.

30 Socialization and Cultural Differences
Socialization of aggression varies across cultures. e.g., Cultural differences in machismo A culture of honor emphasizes honor and status, particularly for males, and the role of aggression in protecting that honor. Promotes violent behavior

31 Situational Influences on Aggression

32 Putting Common Sense to the Test…
True or False? Blowing off steam by engaging in safe but aggressive activities (such as sports) makes people less likely to aggress later. Answer: False… Let’s see why!

33 Frustration: Aggression as a Drive
Frustration-Aggression Hypothesis: Frustration always elicits the motive to aggress. All aggression is caused by frustration. The motive to aggress is a psychological drive that resembles a physiological drive. Can lead to displacement. Catharsis is the reduction of this motive.

34 Frustration-Aggression Hypothesis: Does the Research Support It?
Frustration is related to aggression. But frustration does not always produce aggressive inclinations. There are other causes of aggression besides frustration. Is displacement a valid concept?

35 Catharsis Viewed as a two-step sequence
Aggression reduces the level of physiological arousal. Because arousal is reduced, become less angry and less likely to aggress further. Sounds logical, but is it a myth?

36 Problems with Catharsis
Imagined aggression or the observation of aggressive models is more likely to increase arousal and aggression than reduce it. Actual aggression can lower arousal levels. But if aggressive intent remains, “cold-blooded” aggression can still occur. Also, if it feels good, more likely to act aggressively again.

37 Problems with Catharsis (cont.)
Feelings of hostility and anger may persist, and possibly increase. Even relatively low levels of aggression can loosen restraints against more violent behavior.

38 Frustration-Aggression Hypothesis Revised (Berkowitz, 1989)
Frustration is but one of many unpleasant experiences that can lead to aggression by creating negative, uncomfortable feelings. It is the negative feelings, not frustration itself, that can trigger aggression. Negative feelings can also result from a wide variety of noxious stimuli.

39 Figure 11.5: The Link Between Heat and Violence
From C.A. Anderson (1989) "Temperature and Aggression: Ubiquitous Effects of Heat on Occurrence of Human Violence," Psychological Bulletin, 106, Copyright (c) 1989 by the American Psychological Association. Adapted with permission.

40 Figure 11.6: Temper and Temperature in Baseball
From A.S. Reifman, R.P. Larrick, and S. Fein, "Temper and Temperature on the Diamond: The Heat-Aggression Relationship in Major-League Baseball," Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, Vol. 17, pp Copyright (c) 1991 by Sage Publications, Inc. Reprinted by permission of Sage Publications, Inc.

41 Influences on Aggression
Type of emotion (positive or negative) Intensity of arousal Role of excitation transfer Arousal Affect Model: Aggression is influenced by: Type of emotion produced by a stimulus

42 Figure 11.7: The Arousal-Affect Model

43 Cognitive Neoassociation Analysis
Theory that feelings and thoughts interact. Unpleasant experiences create negative affect. Negative affect stimulates associations connected with anger and fear. How one responds to these automatic thoughts and emotions is influenced by higher level cognitive processing.

44 Automatic Cognition: Situational Cues
Weapons Effect: The tendency for the presence of guns to increase aggression. Potential aggression-enhancing situational cues are associated with: Successful aggression, or The negative affect of pain or unpleasantness

45 Figure 11.8: Guns, Testosterone, and Hot Sauce: Evidence for the Weapons Effect

46 Higher Order Cognition: Cognitive Control
Deliberate, thoughtful consideration of the situation can influence aggression. Aggression can be reduced because of mitigating information. Information the person should not be held fully responsible for aggressive actions. Some people exhibit a hostile attribution bias.

47 Alcohol and Aggression
Alcohol, like high arousal, can impair the cognitive control of aggression. How does alcohol increase aggression? Alcohol reduces anxiety, which lowers inhibitions against aggression. Intoxication causes alcohol myopia, a disruption in the way we process information.

48 Figure 11.9: A Model of Situational Influences on Emotional Aggression
From C.A. Anderson, K.B. Anderson, and W.E. Deuser, "Examining an Affective Framework: Weapon and Temperature Effects on Aggressive Thoughts, Affect, and Attitudes," Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, Vol. 22, pp Copyright © 1996 by Sage Publications, Inc. Reprinted by permission of Sage Publications, Inc.

49 Media Effects Scenes of Violence

50 Putting Common Sense to the Test…
True or False? Exposure to TV violence in childhood is related to aggression in later life. Answer: True… Let’s see why!

51 The Extent of Media Violence
By the end of elementary school, a typical American child will have seen: 8,000 murders More than 100,000 other acts of violence 2003 study found 534 separate episodes of prime-time violence during a 2 week period. The most violent TV shows are targeted to children (e.g., cartoons).

52 Figure 11.10: How Strong is the Relationship Between Media Violence and Real-World Aggression?
From C.A. Anderson and B.J. Bushman, "The Effects of Media Violence on Society," Science, Vol. 295, Copyright © 2002 AAAS. Reprinted with permission from AAAS.

53 Immediate Effects of Media Violence
Aggressive models increase aggressive behavior among children and adults. Models can be live or on film. Violent imagery in the music industry associated feelings of hostility and aggressive thoughts. Playing violent video games can increase aggressive thoughts and behaviors.

54 Long-Term Effects of Media Violence
Exposure to TV violence at ages 6-9 positively correlated with aggression as adults. No gender difference Cross-cultural study found relationship between early viewing of TV violence and later aggression.

55 How Does Exposure to Media Violence Have Long-Term Effects?
Influences values and attitudes toward aggression. Through habituation become desensitized to violence. Depictions of violence can change values and attitudes through cultivation.

56 Figure 11.12: Media Violence Effects Across Types of Studies
From C.A. Anderson and B.J. Bushman, "The Effects of Media Violence on Society," Science, Vol. 295, Copyright © 2002 AAAS. Reprinted with permission from AAAS.

57 Pornography and Aggression
Positive correlation for men between exposure to pornography and reported sexually aggressive behaviors and attitudes. But what is pornography? Often a matter of personal opinion. Pornography refers to explicit sexual material, regardless of its moral or aesthetic qualities.

58 Nonviolent Pornography
Arousal-affect model revisited. Nonviolent pornography can increase men’s aggression against women. But only when restraints that ordinarily inhibit male-to-female aggression are reduced. Little support for direct causal link between pornography use and sexual aggression.

59 Violent Pornography Adding violence to pornography increases possibility of harmful effects. Brings together high arousal, negative emotional reactions, and aggressive thoughts. Male-to-female aggression is markedly increased after exposure to violent pornography.

60 Table 11.4: Attitudes About Sex and Aggression
Copyright © 1980 by the American Psychological Association. Reproduced with permission. From M.C. Burt, “Cultural Myths and Supports for Rape," Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 28, , No further reproduction or distribution is permitted without written permission from the American Psychological Association.

61 Intimate Violence Trust Betrayed

62 Sexual Aggression Among College Students
Of the 3,187 females surveyed on 32 college campuses: Over 25% reported having experienced either an attempted or completed rape since age 14. Over 50% of these assaults occurred during a date. Majority of college women and about a third of college men say they have experienced coercive sexual contact.

63 Factors Associated with Sexual Aggression Among College Students
Gender Men are more likely to engage in coercive behavior in order to obtain sex. Alcohol consumption Attitudes toward rape and toward women

64 Figure 11.14: Alcohol and Perception of Sexual Aggression
Marx et al., 1999.

65 Putting Common Sense to the Test…
True or False? Men are much more likely than women to aggress against their spouses or partners. Answer: False… Let’s see why!

66 Physical Aggression Between Partners
Partner abuse is a worldwide phenomenon. Higher levels of wife-to-husband violence reported than husband-to-wife abuse. Consequences of aggression between partners tend to be much more damaging to women. Violence between partners caused by multiple factors.

67 Child Abuse Estimated over a million children are physically abused and over 150,000 are sexually abused. Most severe abuse is often inflicted by parents and caretakers. Boys suffer more physical abuse than girls do. Mothers are more likely to physically abuse their children. Girls suffer more sexual abuse than do boys. Fathers are more likely to sexually abuse their children.

68 Putting Common Sense to the Test…
True or False? Adults who as children were abused by their parents are less likely to inflict abuse on their own children than are other adults. Answer: False… Let’s see why!

69 The Cycle of Family Violence
Intergenerational transmission of domestic violence. But this cycle refers to a greater tendency, not an absolute certainty.

70 Multiple Causes, Multiple Cures
Reducing Violence Multiple Causes, Multiple Cures

71 Reducing Aggression: Situational and Sociocultural Factors
Reduce stressors such as frustration, discomfort, and provocation. Teach and model nonviolent responses to frustrations and social problems. Emphasize cooperation over competitiveness. Change cost-reward payoffs associated with aggression.

72 Reducing Aggression: Media Effects
Censorship? Education may be most effective approach. Increase critical viewing skills.

73 Reducing Aggression: Intimate Violence
Sex education programs that: Emphasize desirability of being respectful and considerate towards one’s partner. Debunk rape myths. Increase sensitivity. Provide family members with educational and employment opportunities to reduce family violence.

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