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p151_ch12_aggress_post

p151_ch12_aggress_post - Psychology 151 Why Do We Hurt...

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1 Psychology 151 5/18/2009 Chapter 12: Aggression Why Do We Hurt Other People? Why Do We Hurt Other People? What Is Aggression? Instrumental Aggression A means to some goal other than causing pain. Hostile Aggression Stems from feelings of anger, & aimed at inflicting pain. Intentional behavior aimed at doing harm or causing pain Is Aggression Inborn or Learned? Even in the most aggression-prone species, aggression is an optional strategy Determined by the organism’s previous social experiences Determined by the specific social context in which the organism finds itself Is Aggression Instinctual? The Evolutionary Argument Males aggress for 2 reasons: 1. Establish dominance. Female will choose the male w/ the best genes, & protection & resources for offspring. 2. Males aggress "jealously" in order to ensure paternity Source of image: Microsoft Office Online. The “kitten & rat” study (Zing Yang Kuo, 1961) Raised a kitten in the same cage with a rat Not only did the cat refrain from attacking the rat, but the 2 became close companions Given the opportunity, the cat refused to chase or kill other rats generalized to rats the cat had never met The “kitten & rat” study (Zing Yang Kuo, 1961) 2 interpretations: •Attacking rats is not innate & must be learned • It is innate, but was overruled by learning Follow-up study by Eibl-Eibesfeldt (1963): •Cats raised in isolation will attack introduced rats •Non-aggression may be learned
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2 Neural & Chemical Influences on Aggression Too little serotonin can lead to increases in aggression, & so can too much testosterone testosterone testosterone. 1. Lab animals injected w/ testosterone became more aggressive. 2. Naturally occurring testosterone levels are significantly higher among violent criminals than nonviolent criminals.
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