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C82SAD Aggression.

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Presentation on theme: "C82SAD Aggression."— Presentation transcript:

1 C82SAD Aggression

2 Aggression Aggression is prevalent in everyday life
We are regularly exposed to aggressive acts or people, e.g.  graffiti  vandalism  violent arguments  weapons  belligerent dress Images of violence and aggression are rife in the media:  rapes  muggings  child abuse  assaults  robberies  terrorism  wars  gang violence  hooliganism  crowd violence Children are also exposed to violence at school (Lind & Maxwell, 1986) Jones et al. (1994) conducted UK-wide research on violence and aggression and found that 20% of women felt unsafe when walking although only 0.7% reported being attacked.

3 Prevalence of Aggressive Acts
Burglary Assault USA 3.8 3.0 France 2.4 Netherlands 2.0 Germany 1.5 Belgium 2.3 Norway 1.4 UK 2.1 1.2 Spain 1.7 1.3 Switzerland 0.9 1.0 0.7 0.8 0.6 Source: Jones, Gray, Kavanagh, Norton, & Seldon (1994)


5 What is Aggression? There are numerous definitions which vary from physical parameters (e.g., pushing, shoving, striking) to features relating to threatening or hostile acts (e.g., abusive language, facial expressions) “Behaviour that results in personal injury or destruction of property” (Bandura, 1973) “Behaviour intended to harm another of the same species” (Scherer et al., 1975) “Behaviour directed towards the goal of harming or injuring another living being who is motivated to avoid such treatment” (Baron & Byrne, 2000) “Behaviour directed toward another individual carried out with the proximate intent to cause harm” (Anderson & Huesmann, 2003)

6 What is Aggression? Definitions have some commonality: “Intent to harm” (Carlson et al., 1989) Measuring aggression is also challenging – especially if the definition is vague Means used in previous research to measure aggression: Punching a inflatable plastic doll (Bandura et al., 1963) Pushing a button to ostensibly deliver an electric shock (Buss, 1961) Pencil-and-paper ratings by teachers and classmates of a child’s aggressiveness (Eron, 1982) Self-report of prior aggressive behaviour (Leyens et al., 1975) Verbal expression of willingness to use violence (Geen, 1978) Ethical considerations in level of ‘aggressive acts’ people can be induced to do in experiments The above measures are an analogue for measuring ‘real’ aggression

7 Theories of Aggression
Psychodynamic Theory (Freud, 1930) Proposed distinction between ‘death instinct’ (Thanatos) and ‘life instinct’ (Eros) Thanatos is initially self-directed but as we develop it can be directed toward others Unifactorial (1-factor) model – aggression build up due to unconscious, primitive conflicts and must be ‘released’ Neo-Freudians view a more rational but still innate view of aggression – basic to all animal species (Hartmann et al., 1949) Largely theoretical with little empirical support – limited but a useful ‘starting point’

8 Theories of Aggression
Ethological Theory (Lorenz, 1966; Ardrey, 1966; Morris, 1967) Ethology: Branch of biology devoted to the study of animal behaviour among members of a species in their natural physical and social and environment Focused on an innate component to aggression as well as situational stimuli (‘releasers’) Aggression has a ‘survival value’ Species are naturally aggressive towards other members of its species so as to maintain an even distribution of members and resources – increased likelihood of survival

9 Theories of Aggression
Ethological Theory (Lorenz, 1966; Ardrey, 1966; Morris, 1967) No actual violence – aggression is ‘displayed’ ritualistically A 2-factor theory Innate propensity to aggress Situational cues give rise to aggression (or aggressive displays) Lorenz (1966) mapped this to people (fighting instinct) But criticism as to the survival value of aggression (e.g., people have no killing appendages) Also people can kill with ease using weapons – no ‘instinct’

10 Theories of Aggression
Evolutionary Social Psychology (Krebs & Miller, 1985; Cosmides & Tooby, 2005) Evolutionary social psychology: Biological approach claiming that social behaviour is adaptive and helps the individual, kin, and species to survive Aggressive behaviour is adaptive in that it has evolved to permit the being to procreate and pass on genes to the next generation In humans, aggressive acts can increase social and economic advantage – social advantage very important in sexual selection (Darwin’s ‘other’ theory)

11 Theories of Aggression
Frustration-Aggression Hypothesis (Dollard et al., 1939) Aggression the product of an ‘anger response’ to the frustration of goals and desires Aggression directed to perceived source of frustration e.g. terrorism might be spawned by chronic and acute frustration over the ineffectiveness of other means (e.g., negotiation) to achieve socio-economic goals However, limited because frustrating events (e.g., job loss, refereeing decisions, traffic jams) lead to lots of frustration but seldom aggression (Berkowitz, 1993)

12 Theories of Aggression
Excitation Transfer (Zillman, 1979, 1988) Excitation transfer model: Considers the expression of aggression is a function of 3 factors: A learned aggressive behaviour Arousal or excitation from another source The person’s interpretation of the arousal state – such that an aggressive response seems appropriate Derived from a ‘drive’ model of emotion People misinterpret arousal from one situation and it is transferred to another if there is further arousal and an aggressive response has been adopted previously E.g. a greater tendency to shout or snap at a friend or partner if something else unrelated has annoyed us

13 Theories of Aggression
Excitation Transfer (Zillman, 1979, 1988) Aggression Student works out at gymnasium High level of excitation: Heart rate Blood pressure Muscle tremor Motorist takes last parking space TIME

14 Theories of Aggression
Social Learning Theory (Bandura, 1977, 1997) Observational learning (imitation and vicarious experience) during childhood may contribute to violent actions Bobo doll experiments Bandura et al. (1961): Children watched an adult playing with ‘Bobo doll’ (5-foot inflated plastic doll) Children exposed to the violent model displayed significantly more aggression toward the doll

15 Theories of Aggression
Social Learning Theory (Bandura, 1977, 1997) Source: Bandura & Walter (1963)

16 Theories of Aggression
Social Learning Theory (Bandura, 1977, 1997) Observational learning (imitation and vicarious experience) during childhood may contribute to violent actions (Bobo doll experiments) Explained the social circumstances under which violent/aggressive acts might arise Factors include: Past experience of aggressive behaviour (personal and observed) Previous ‘success’ with aggressive behaviours in terms of fulfilling personal goals The expected pattern of reinforcement of aggression – rewarded or punished? Psychological (e.g., personality), personal (e.g., verbal encouragement), and environmental (e.g., presence of significant others) factors More comprehensive than frustration-aggression because it charts the development and conditions under which aggression occurs

17 Factors Influencing Aggression
Type A Personality and ADHD Type A personality is a behaviour pattern Carver and Glass (1978) found Type A people to act more aggressively toward people perceived to be competitive Type A people have also been found to experience more conflict with peers and subordinates but not superiors (Baron, 1989) ADHD is a syndrome that includes poor attention span, hyperactivity and poor attention control ADHD is predictive of aggression in children and adults (Hinshaw, 1987) Solutions lie in pharmacological control through medication

18 Factors Influencing Aggression
Direct Provocation Research has shown that verbal and physical provocation results in people behaving aggressively (Geen, 1968) e.g., street fights, brawls in bars or sports grounds Reciprocity principle: tendency to strike back if provoked – mutual aggression (also in ‘attraction’) Age is a moderating influence on the link between provocation and aggression (Eagly & Steffenm 1986) Aggression in retaliation to provocation may be seen as self-defense and therefore adaptive

19 Factors Influencing Aggression
Gender and Socialisation Men are more likely to engage in aggressive behaviour (Wrangham & Peterson, 1996) Men are also more likely to display aggressive attitudes and beliefs (Eagly & Chaiken, 1993) This may be due to: Elevated levels of androgens (e.g., testosterone) Evolutionary benefit to aggression in terms of status and dominance Socialisation of aggressive tendencies during development

20 Factors Influencing Aggression
Gender and Socialisation Men are more likely to engage in aggressive behaviour (Wrangham & Peterson, 1996) Men are also more likely to display aggressive attitudes and beliefs (Eagly & Chaiken, 1993) This may be due to: Elevated levels of androgens (e.g., testosterone) Evolutionary benefit to aggression in terms of status and dominance Socialisation of aggressive tendencies during development

21 Factors Influencing Aggression
The Cathartic Hypothesis Catharsis: The feeling of release after an emotion-expressing experience Often thought that aggression assists in this process helping express ‘pent-up’ frustration People need to ‘let off steam’ borne by frustration Research in the area is inconclusive – some studies has shown catharsis to reduce aggression while others shown it actually increases (Koneçi & Ebbesen, 1976) Some have suggested that the cathartic hypothesis is little more than a belief (Wann et al., 1999) and research has rejected the hypothesis completely Bushman et al. (1999)

22 Factors Influencing Aggression
The Cathartic Hypothesis Angered Not Angered Source: Bushman, Baumeister, and Stack (1999)

23 Factors Influencing Aggression
Alcohol Disinhibition hypothesis of alcohol – detraction from cortical control and increases activity in more ‘primitive’ areas Strong link between alcohol consumption and aggression (Bushman & Cooper, 1990) Experimental studies also support this such as Taylor and Sears’ (1988) electric shock study using win-loss scenarios in a reaction time task Taylor and Sears also provided verbal encouragement from a confederate and found that this interacted with the level of shocks given Gustafson (1992) provided additional support but used provocation instead Implications for real life scenarios e.g. goading person into acting aggressively

24 Factors Influencing Aggression
Alcohol Alcohol condition Placebo condition Source: Taylor & Sears (1988)

25 Factors Influencing Aggression
Disinhibition A breakdown in the learned controls (social forces) against behaving impulsively or aggressively Numerous ways in which people become disinhibited and act aggressively E.g. Deindividuation is one process that might lead to disinhibition through presence of others and lack of identifiability (c.f. nurse and KKK uniform study; Johnson & Downing, 1979) Examples of deindividuation, disinhibition, and aggression: My Lai incident in Vietnam war (Hersh, 1970 Mann’s (1981) study of baiting behaviour by crowds in suicides in 1960’s and 1970’s

26 Factors Influencing Aggression
Deindividuation Night time Large crowd Distant from victim Anonymity Low concern for victim Baiting Behaviour Aggression Irritability Frustration Long wait Source: Based on Mann (1981)

27 Situational Factors Physical environment: Heat and crowding
Research has shown a link between temperature (or hotter than normal conditions) and Domestic violence (Cohn, 1993) Violent suicide (Maes et al., 1994 Collective violence (Carlsmith & Anderson, 1979) Aggravated assault (Harries & Stadler, 1983) Motorists honking in traffic! (Kenrick & MacFarlane, 1986) Aggression and temperature show an inverted-U relationship (Cohn & Rotton, 1997) But not all violence is related to temperature (e.g., ‘rape’) Distinction between affective (emotional) and instrumental (means to an end) aggression Temperature only affects affective aggression (Anderson et al., 1997)

28 Situational Factors -15 -4 7 18 29 41 Source: Cohn & Rotton, 1997

29 Situational Factors Disadvantaged groups: Relative deprivation (Runciman, 1966) Cultural variation: Cultural norms and values – cultural norms of violence and aggression vary Subculture of violence: High level of violence is accepted as the norm (Baumeister & Heatherton, 1996) –defining conditions under which violence is disinihibited Interactionism: Violence and aggression are never a simple act from one specific cause, it is multifactorial

30 What is Motivation? Think about ‘motivated’ behaviour:
Eating and drinking Displaying aggression Sexual behaviour What common ‘features’ do these motivated behaviours have?

31 What is Motivation? Motivation covers all types and categories of human behaviour Questions regarding the origins, drives and predictors of motivation and behaviour are addressed by many areas of psychology – e.g. biological psychology, social psychology, personality etc. Motivation is the ‘driving force’ behind volitional behaviour and determines the… Strength Direction Persistence …of behaviour (Geen, 1995)

32 Biological Needs System variable (what is regulated) Set point
Biological needs serve the evolutionary purpose of ‘survival’ and are powerful influences on motivation Organisms have regulatory mechanisms to guide behaviour Features of a regulatory mechanism: System variable (what is regulated) Set point Detection mechanism Correctional/regulatory mechanism Aims to maintain HOMEOSTASIS – ‘drive reduction’ hypothesis However, drive-reduction is problematic and seems to have flaws – what about investigative behaviour? Optimal arousal theories – ‘preferable’ level of stimulation necessary to satisfy needs (Yerkes & Dodson, 1928)

33 Psychological Needs Not all motivated behaviours are directed by HOMEOSTASIS Sexual behaviour is motivating, but not related to homeostasis Exploratory behaviour – ‘intrinsic motivation’ when left in new environment is not driven to achieve homeostasis Rogers (1960), Maslow (1962), and Deci and Ryan (1985) suggest that humans have psychological needs for ‘self-actualization’ or ‘autonomy’ – explains motivated behaviour such as exploratory behaviour and seeking tasks

34 Reinforcement, Reward, and Motivated Behaviour
Reinforcement can determine motivated behaviour Intermittent reinforcement help maintenance of behaviour Conditioned reinforcement – motivation is determined by stimuli that are reinforcers e.g. extrinsic: money, status or intrinsic: satisfaction, confidence, enjoyment Deci and Ryan (1985) persistence is only likely if the reward system is intrinsic

35 Learned Helplessness If persistent behaviour results in no change in the environment then negative emotion and reduced motivation result Overmeier and Seligman (1967) experiments with animals Expectation of success is lowered as the result of continued failure (inability to avoid electric shocks), so persistence decreases– ‘learned helplessness’ When the situation is structured so that behaviour and outcomes are independent, non-intentionality and maladaptive behaviour are the likely result (Seligman, 1975) Moderated by personality – some people still try hard, regardless of repeated failure Lead to research on incompetence and self-efficacy (Bandura, 1977)

36 Cognitive Evaluation Theory: Classic Research on Intrinsic Motivation
Deci (1971, 1972) College students offered money for solving problems, while another group of students just solved the problems without any external reward unpaid students spent more time solving the problems in free time Lepper, Greene, and Nisbett (1973) effect of extrinsic rewards on children's’ intrinsic interest and motivation

37 Cognitive Evaluation Theory: Classic Research on Intrinsic Motivation
Method One group of children asked to draw pictures and rewards promised for the best drawing (reward condition) Another group drew pictures, without the promise of a reward (non - rewarded condition) Another group drew pictures and given a surprise reward (unexpected reward condition) % time spent drawing

38 Rewards & Intrinsic Motivation
Results suggest that intrinsic motivation is undermined by extrinsic, tangible rewards like money (‘undermining effect’ – Deci and Ryan, 1980) “When a behaviour is controlled by events such as rewards, the behaviour only tends to persist so long as the controlling events are present” (Deci & Ryan, 1987, p. 1026) Undermining effect is similar (but not identical) to the overjustification effect Overjustification effect: rewards make it clear to the actor that the cause of their behaviour is external to themselves – people do the behaviour for the reward rather than the behaviour itself

39 Research on the ‘Undermining Effect’
Deci, Koestner and Ryan (1999) conducted a research synthesis to examine the effect of rewards in reducing intrinsic motivation Meta-analysis of 128 studies on effects of rewards on intrinsic motivation Average ‘effect size’ (d) of undermining effect for different types of rewards: Engagement-contingent rewards d = -.40 Completion-contingent rewards d = -.36 Performance-contingent rewards d = -.28 Undermining effect very strong across studies – no effect for task non-contingent rewards

40 Mechanisms in Cognitive Evaluation Theory
How the recipient perceives rewards is critical in determining whether their intrinsic motivation will be enhanced or diminished Rewards that are perceived to control a person’s behaviour (i.e., perceived as emanating outside a person) or suggest that the person is not competent decrease (undermine) intrinsic motivation This is because they cause a ‘shift’ in the person’s perception of the causality from within the self (internal) to outside the self (external)

41 Mechanisms in Cognitive Evaluation Theory
The reward is said to result in an external locus of causality for the behaviour undermining intrinsic motivation Rewards that are perceived as emphasising the informational aspect (i.e., perceived as coming from inside the individual) or provide positive feedback that supports competence increase intrinsic motivation In this case the perceived locus of causality is within the individual

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