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Nature and Nurture of Aggression

In: Philosophy and Psychology

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The Nature and Nurture of Aggression

OUTLINE: * Theories of Aggression * Psychological Influences on Aggression * Environmental Influences on Aggression * Reducing Aggression * A social Learning Approach * Cultural Change & World Violence

Aggression – physical or verbal behavior intended to cause harm * kicks and slaps, threats and insults, gossip or snide “digs” (online bullying)
Instrumental Aggression – aims to injure too – but only as a means to some other end. * Terrorism – a strategic tool used during conflict; attaining hero or martyr status. * Wars – an instrumental act of liberation and of self defense against presumed weapons of mass destruction. * Bully – seeks to demonstrate their dominance and high status.
Theories of Agression * Agression an Instinct
Is Aggression an Instinct?
Aggressive energy is instinctive; if not discharged, it supposedly builds up until it explodes or until an appropriate stimulus releases it. * Mouse releasing a mousetrap * Neural Influences
Researchers have found neural systems (specific areas of the brain) when stimulated produce aggression. * Amygdala * Prefrontal cortex * Genetic Influences
Heredity influences the neural system's sensitivity to aggressive cues.
Aggressiveness also varies among individuals. * Blood Chemistry
Influences neural sensitivity to aggressive stimulation. * ALCOHOL – enhances aggressiveness by reducing people’s self-awareness, by focusing their attention on a provocation; people’s mentally associating alcohol with aggression. * TESTOSTERONE – aggressivesess correlate with the male sex hormone;men with wider faces displaymore aggression. * POOR DIET – many peope have diets deficient in important nutrients such as Omega-3 fatty acids and calcuim.…...

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