Aggression-any act in which the goal is to harm another individual or object, either physically or psychologically.
Dogs become aggressive when in or around one another’s territories. They feel they need to be protective of their space.
There are two distinct types of aggression:
Hostile aggression-this specific type of aggression is caused by anger and its ending goal is to actually injure another individual or object.
A teenage boy kicking a cat until it is unable to walk is an example of hostile aggression.
Instrumental aggression-this specific type of aggression occurs when an individual acts out only to make it to another goal.
A child may push another child out of the way only to get to the cookie jar first. The child does not mean to actually hurt or cause pain towards the other child.
Aggression as a Biological Phenomenon
Instinct Theory and Evolutionary Psychology
Instinctive behavior- a behavior that has not been learned, rather a behavior of predisposition.
A mother is protective of her children not because they are her children, but because, instinctively, she needs to make sure they survive in order to carry on her and her mates genes.
Males have learned that being more aggressive and confrontational gives them a higher status. Higher status = survival and reproduction.
Researchers have found that neurological patterns in the human brain have aided anger and aggression. The prefrontal cortex may be under developed in people who are more aggressive and exhibit impulsive behaviors. This has been seen in convicts.
Genes predispose the amount of aggressiveness an individual shows.
These genetic traits have to be triggered out another individual or object for them to be apparent.
Plenty of statistics have proven that alcohol aids aggressiveness in individuals.
Testosterone is known to be an influence to aggression. Males tend to be much more aggressive than females. Males have the want to be more protective and strong for their mate.
Poor diet has also been proven to be another factor in the development of aggression in an individual. Good nutrition tends to make a happier and less assertive individual; whereas, poor nutrition aids in aggression and discontent in individuals.
Aggression as a Response to Frustration
Frustration-aggression theory- the theory that frustration facilitates aggressive tendencies.
A prime example of this theory is when someone continues to touch you when you are clearly agitated that they are doing so. You are frustrated at first and soon become aggressive against that individual.
Frustration- the hindering of a behavior which is led by a specific goal.
A person continuously calls to ask you if you have graduated college yet when you have fallen behind because of failing a few classes. Every time they ask you this question, you become even more bothered.
Displacement- the placement of an individual’s frustration and aggression onto an outside source (another individual, another object, etc.). The outside source is usually someone or something that is not likely to fight back or that is a safer element.
An example of displacement would be that on my way home from school, I ran a red light and got pulled over by a policeman, I in turn, go home and yell at my mother, who then goes and yells at my brother, who then goes and yells at his dog, who then goes and bites my guinea pig, who then flings his cage stuffing all over the floor.
Frustration-aggression theory revised
Instrumental aggression was not included in the original frustration-aggression theory, so researchers tried to incorporate this aspect into the revised edition of the theory. The original theory was designed to describe hostile aggression only.
Relative deprivation- the belief that you are less well-to-do than another or other individuals.
An example of relative deprivation would be United States…