Where does aggression come from?
If we perceive and label another type of person or their actions as offensive or dangerous to us, then we are more prone to be aggressive towards that type of person. Just like a hungry person thinks more often of food, if we are angry, we see more signs of aggression and suspect more “enemies.” It has been said, “a prejudiced person sees a Jew, a communist, or a ‘******’ behind every bush and beneath every bed.” Our society and our subcultures provide us with stereotypes that direct our resentment, prejudice, and discrimination towards certain types of people. Prejudice tends to grow: if we dislike someone, we are more likely to hurt them, and if we hurt them, we are more likely to come to dislike them even more (Scherer, Aveles, & Fischer, 1975). For example, prior to the shooting of students (4 killed, 9 wounded) by the National Guard at Kent State in 1970, students across the nation had referred to the police as “pigs” (i.e. stupid, coarse, and brutal) and the police had seen stude
The NNCC lists these factors: • The Child. A child s temperament and coping skills are critical to the youngster s ability to manage aggression. There are basically three types of temperament: easy or flexible (60% of children), fearful and sensitive (25%), and feisty or difficult (15% of children). • The Family. The level of family stress and the positive and negative interactions of the family influence children learning aggression. • The Community. Communities that understand and support children s rights are communities that support children and all their developmental stages. • The Environment. Housing, schools and neighborhoods can contribute to aggression. • The Culture. The role models children are exposed to on television and in the community. When people try to solve problems with physical violence, children mistakenly learn that this is acceptable behavior.
Some believe that aggression is learned through his or her peers and/or family members. Others believe that it is genetics that makes one be aggressive. Pinker (1997) states, In this scientific age, to understand means to try to explain behavior as a complex interaction among: (1) the genes; (2) the anatomy of the brain; (3) its biochemical state; (4) the persons family upbringing; (5) the way society has treated him or her; and (6) the stimuli that impinge upon the person (p.515) So really there is no one-way to understand how one develops aggression, but through positive interaction and treatment one can overcome aggression.
What determines my personality? Why is the sky blue and the grass green and this apple red? How does the brain work? The questions in this series may appear to have nothing in common, except that they are all pondered, at one time or another, by curious people. But, in fact, they do have something in common, because they are all questions dealt with in the field of psychology. If you are not yet excited to study psychology, you probably did not realize the wide variety of intriguing questions for which psychology provides insights. Psychology Defined It is also possible that you are not even sure what psychology is all about. It is one of those things that most people know exists, but have a hard time defining clearly. Psychology is the scientific inquiry into many aspects of the human mind and experience. These aspects include sensation, perception, consciousness, thought and intelligence, emotions and motivation, personality, and interaction with other individuals and society. When w
a. Compare the double-page picture of “life” in the middle of Becoming Me to the double-page picture of “war” near the end. What has changed in the landscape? How did you feel when you first saw the picture of war and desolation? There are many people in our communities who have been directly affected by war-having been in combat, lost a loved one, or been made refugees—but there is rarely a time for them to tell their stories and discuss how they make sense of their experiences. Here is a good opportunity for you and your friends to share personal stories of war and how it has touched your lives. b. Becoming Me seems to give a very clear reason why human beings become aggressive and destructive. What is this reason? Does it make sense to you? What do you think is the root cause of war? Is aggression a part of the human condition? Is anywhere better than here? Many spiritual paths suggest that being here, in the world, is just a preparation for being in a heaven or afterlife. Others su