Chapter 2 Part 2 - Biological Roots of Behavior (part 2)...

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Today’s topics Threat and Aggression Sex Biological Roots of Behavior (part 2)
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Autonomic Nervous System Autonomic Nervous System connects CNS to internal organs controls functions we don’t have to consciously control (e.g. heart beat, blood pressure, etc) Divided into sympathetic and parasympathetic branches Sympathetic division mobilizes body’s resources prepares us for action “fight or flight” response Parasympathetic division conserves body’s energy replenishes stores of energy relaxes body allows for routine maintenance activity returns body to normal, quiet state i.e. handles normal, common internal functions of everyday life Chapter 2: Threat and Aggression
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Disruptive Effects of Autonomic Arousal Repeated sympathetic arousal can damage our bodies! We don’t have as many TRUE emergency situations as in our evolutionary past Common stressors still cause sympathetic arousal even though physical action isn’t needed Problems caused by prolonged anxiety (sympathetic arousal) Stomach problems (digestion inhibited by sympathetic arousal) Sexual problems (sexual function disrupted by sympathetic arousal) Chronic suppression of immune system Chapter 2: Threat and Aggression
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Male Aggression and Hormones In virtually any species, males more physically aggressive boys more visibly aggressive from age 2 - 2 ½ yrs Females use more indirect aggression (e.g. gossip, spreading rumors, rejecting, ignoring, avoidance) Hormones play large role in male aggressiveness Testosterone – high levels increase fighting, low levels reduce fighting In humans Violence greatest among 15-25 year old males (highest testosterone levels) Male and female prisoners with high levels likely have committed crimes at earlier age, committed more violent crimes, and are more difficult prisoners In non-criminal population, men with high levels often report trouble with parents, teachers, being assaultive, going AWOL in military, and using drugs Testosterone and aggression affect each other! Testosterone increases aggression; aggression increases testosterone Bernhardt et al (1998) Testosterone of basketball fans rose in victorious fans, sank among dejected (losing) fans Chapter 2: Threat and Aggression
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Personality Influences on Aggression: Self-esteem Violence tends to result from very POSITIVE self-views that are threatened by others Not all people with high self-esteem are violent! UNSTABLE high self-esteem had highest tendencies toward hostility and anger STABLE high self-esteem had LOWEST tendencies toward hostility and anger People most vulnerable to ego threats are most prone to aggression People with over-inflated, grandiose, unjustified favorable views of themselves Chapter 2: Threat and Aggression
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Personality Influences on Aggression: Narcissism Narcissism Characterized by inflated self-love
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Chapter 2 Part 2 - Biological Roots of Behavior (part 2)...

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