Thursday, October 24, 2019

Is human aggression in born Or a learned behavior Essay

? Introduction All of science, including clinical science, begins with observation. The understanding and modulation of aggressive impulsive behavior has been no exception. Even before Hippocrates’ attempt to characterize personalities, we have observed and grouped behaviors and then proceeded to study and attempt their manipulation. Webster defines aggression as â€Å"a forceful action or procedure (as an unprovoked attack) especially when intended to dominate or master. † â€Å"It is this classification and description process which has guided the research and clinical modulation of human aggressive behavior utilizing animal models of aggression. † (Coccaro, 2003, p. 1) Define aggression (Hostile aggression and instrumental aggression) The underlying premise of the study of phenomena, (things as they are perceived, as the nature of things as they are) of aggressive behavior is that such aggressive behavior is not uniform but despite its disparity can be grouped according to certain externally observable characteristics. Moreover, the utility of such descriptive grouping provides the structure that leads to a clearer understanding of these phenomena and affords a means to manipulate behaviors. â€Å"The study ultimately provides an understanding of behavior in the human condition. Said another way, animal models of aggression tell us which questions to ask about human aggression and which biological systems to study in the human animal. † (Coccaro, 2003, p. 2) Analyses investigating the relationships between the two different types of aggressive responses and psychiatric diagnoses found that both aggressive children with Attention Deficient Disorder and aggressive children without Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) utilized instrumental aggressive responses more frequently than the normal controls. â€Å"However, children with ADHD and aggression were more likely to utilize hostile aggressive responses than the aggressive children without ADHD, indicating a connection between impulsivity and hostile aggression. † (Atkins et al, 1993, p. 165) Key aggressive behavior was associated with goal-directed behavior, in which there is some benefit or gain to the aggressor or aggressive action. â€Å"In contrast, hostile aggression was perceived as an attempt to cause pain to the victim, with no independent gain. Aggressive children with ADHD were more likely to demonstrate hostile aggressive behavior on an analog task than aggressive children without AD/HD, suggesting that impulsivity plays a role in hostile aggression as well as in ADHD. † (Coccaro, 2003, p. 270) In comparison, instrumental aggression is more thoughtful (premeditated), is less influenced by anger, and uses aggression as a means to obtain a goal (e. g. , power) rather than as an end in itself. Despite this distinction in the literature, measures of aggression rarely discriminate between the two types. This is likely, in part, due to the difficulty in distinguishing between purely instrumental and purely impulsive acts. â€Å"It has been suggested that most aggressive acts may have both impulsive and instrumental components, and that this dichotomy should be abolished. However, other studies have suggested that this distinction is valid and that separate neurological substrates may be involved in the two types of aggression. † (Coccaro, 2003, p. 171) In the laboratory, instrumental aggression may be the most artificial. Constructive and pessimistic support is utilized to shape and increase the frequency of aggressive behavior. Since aggressive behavior, which affords dominance, can be positively reinforcing, instrumental aggression can be linked with other forms of aggression such as inter-male aggression. (Coccaro, 2003, p. 3) Theories of aggression Among the assortment of human actions that are the subject of attention, none has aroused deeper concern than man’s aggressiveness. Though aggression has always been an important social concern, developments during the past few decades have fully justified increased interest. â€Å"With the progressive growth of instruments of destruction, simple aggressive acts can produce widespread disastrous consequences. The hazards of ill-judged actions have thus become enormously magnified. Man’s aggressive potential has also been increased, independently of expanding destructive accouterments, by changes in the social conditions of life. † (Bandura, 1973, p. 1) The grouping of theoretical approaches into various categories (i. e. , instinct, drive, learning, and social learning) uses the major emphasis of each theoretical notion as a sorting criterion. It is hoped that this categorization facilitates the overview. â€Å"It should be kept in mind, however, that the various theories are not necessarily confined entirely to the features suggested by their category heading; nor are they fully independent of one another. Drive theories of aggression, for example, involve learning considerations, and the learning of aggression to some extent involves considerations of drive. † (Zillmann, 1979, p. 114) The explicit use of the drive concept has become comparatively rare. The concept of arousal, on the other hand, seems to have become successively more popular. In one way or another, all contemporary theories of aggression try to explain the phenomenon in terms of an interaction of cognition and arousal. â€Å"The student of this topic may thus readily come to the conclusion that the theories are very similar, at least as far as arousal is concerned. Such an impression is quite erroneous, however. Confusion arises from the fact that the concept of arousal is used very broadly and assumes different meanings in different theories–occasionally even in the same theory. † (Zillmann, 1979, p. 168) Differences between theories show some distinction in the relative emphasis they place on the conditions that are produced. â€Å"This phenomenon has special significance for theories of aggression because, unlike most mass movements, it represents revolt by advantaged rather than by underprivileged segments of society. † (Bandura, 1973, p. 231) It is doubtful that the instinctual drive theories of aggression are capable of empirical verification. Most of them are formulated in such broad terms that they do not generate specific predictions that could be put to experimental tests. â€Å"When a non-measurable instinctual force is combined with many qualifying factors that are also somewhat elusive, the theory can explain any variety of events that have already happened, though it cannot predict them. The post-dictions, of course, are compatible with alternative theories that do not invoke the operation of an innate aggressive drive. † (Bandura, 1973, p. 14) Is aggression inborn (Instinct theory) Lombroso’s (historical figure in modern criminology, and the founder of the Italian School of Positivist Criminology) announcement that biology was the only important factor in causing crime eventually set off a firestorm of controversy. However, Lombroso was not the only person who believed that biology was the most important factor influencing behavior. â€Å"Around the turn of the century, as today, the major discipline examining human behavior was psychology. At that time, most psychologists, like Lombroso, were convinced of the primary importance of genetic influences and did not question the idea that criminal behavior was inborn. † (Englander, 2003, p. 56) â€Å"The ego has been differentiated from the id through the influence of the external world, to whose demands it adapts. In so adapting it has to reconcile the forces of the id and super-ego in such a way as to maximize pleasure and minimize un-pleasure. The development of ego-psychology as a branch of psychoanalysis, which reflected a shift of interest from the earlier instinct theory to the adaptive functions of the ego, in relation to other persons especially, facilitated some rapprochement between psychoanalysis and psychology. † (Gregory, 1998, p.211). The most well-known proponents of the theory (Sigmund Freud, and Konrad Lorenz) have written in German, and the so called instinct theory, accordingly, should rather be labeled the Trieb-theory. (Fry et al, 1997, p. 28) The closest way to describe what Trieb really means is that it implies an innate drive, functioning in accordance with the so called reservoir model. The drive is triggered by internal rather than external stimuli, examples being the hunger, thirst, and sexual drives. Biological influences ( Neural influences, genetic influences, biochemical influences). Psychologists concerned with emotions in general seem to be working along very different lines. With the exception of those dealing mainly with the biological aspects of emotional states, their attention is focused largely on people’s reports of how their emotional feelings and/or actions came about. â€Å"Unfortunately for both groups, there isn’t very much communication between them, and they do not read and consider as much of each other’s research literature as they should. † (Srull, 1993, p. 2) It is becoming increasingly common to treat emotions (anger, fear, love, etc.) as higher order entities created or constructed out of more elementary components. A central problem for any theory of emotion, then, is to clarify the principles according to which emotions are organized. Biological principles (information encoded in the genes) play a role; so, too, do psychological principles. â€Å"The critical empirical question here is whether one sees different emotional states as incorporating essentially indistinguishable physiological responses. (Srull, 1993, p. 91) It has been assumed by scholars that there are demonstrable differences at the physiological, neural and even muscular level between different emotions. Is aggression a response to frustration (frustration-aggression theory revised) A number of predictions that follow from the social learning formulation differ from the traditional frustration-aggression hypothesis. â€Å"It will be recalled that drive theories of aggression assume that frustration arouses an aggressive drive that can be reduced only through some form of aggressive behavior. Frustration, in this view, is a necessary and sufficient condition for aggression. The diverse events subsumed under the omnibus term frustration have one feature in common–they are all in varying degrees. † (Bandura, 1973, p. 53) Attempting to make a connection with the â€Å"displacement† of emotions in psychoanalytic theory gives rise to the reformulation of the frustration-aggression hypothesis. Within academic research circles, it drew theoretical attention to this aspect of human aggression by incorporating rules for the redirection of hostility from the provoker to substitute targets. (Knutson, 1994, p. 89) Criticism of the frustration-aggression hypothesis focused at first on the nature of responses to frustration. Anthropologists pointed out that in some cultures aggression was by no means a typical response to frustration. Researchers in the early and mid 1940’s demonstrated that young children were inclined to regress rather than to aggress when frustrated. â€Å"Other critics argued that only some kinds of frustration evoke aggressive behavior and that other forms do not. † (Bandura, 1973, p. 52) Is aggression learned social behavior An understanding of this energetic interaction between our species legacy, brain functioning, and learned culture is crucial if we are to understand human social behavior, personality and human nature in general. â€Å"Given that our species heritage and neuro-humoral functioning are difficult, if not impossible, to understand apart from evolutionary theory, it is evident that the second new Darwinian revolution must reach fruition prior to a full maturing of the social sciences. † (Bailey, 1987, p. 37). Moreover, they both find powerful effects of rearing conditions, social interactions, and learning that modify the level of aggressive behavior in the selected lines, regardless of genetic background. â€Å"The similarities in outcomes have been striking in the light of the separate establishment and evolution of the investigations for more than 2 decades. The confirmation seemed especially important because the findings had independently challenged widely held assumptions on the relations between development, genes, and social behavior. (Cairns et al, 1996, p. 43) Rewards of aggression The opportunity to behave aggressively can be used to reinforce learning if that opportunity is provided in situations that normally elicit aggression. Electrodes attached to inflict tail shock produces â€Å"reflexive† aggression in monkeys. â€Å"These animals will also learn a chain pulling response in order to obtain a canvas-covered ball that they may bite. If pigeons are rewarded with food for pecking a key, they will learn the response quickly. If the reward is suddenly terminated, the birds will behave aggressively. During this period, they will also learn to peck a key that produces another bird that can then be attacked. † (Moyer, 1987, p. 33) â€Å"Child abuse and neglect is a widespread social problem that affects all types of family structure and all segments of the population, regardless of individual differences in cultural background, geographic location, or economic status. (However, as discussed in later sections, some groups are at greater risk of child abuse and neglect than others. For example, the poor, uneducated, and young have been considered most vulnerable). † (Jackson et al, 1991, p. 5) Many so-called instinctual behaviors may contain a large learning component even in the common patterns displayed by members of a species. â€Å"Observation learning is a principal means of acquiring new response patterns in animals and humans alike. Observation learning may play an especially important role in species that are highly susceptible to imprinting. This is a process wherein young offspring develop a strong attachment to, and rapidly learn general characteristics of the model to which they were first exposed during a developmentally sensitive period. â€Å"(Bandura, 1973, p. 27) It appears that some response patterns are transmitted during the period impressionable access. The relationship of a close social attachment to a role model greatly improves the ability to observe. Huesmann LR and Miller LS, (Long-term effects of repeated exposure to media violence in childhood. In Aggressive Behavior: Current Perspectives, ed.LR Huesmann, pp. 153-86. New York: Plenum 1986, 1998,) proposed that when children observe violence in the mass media, they learn aggressive scripts. â€Å"Scripts define situations and guide behavior: The person first selects a script to represent the situation and then assumes a role in the script. Once a script has been learned, it may be retrieved at some later time and used as a guide for behavior. This approach can be seen as a more specific and detailed account of social learning processes. † (Anderson et al, 2002, p. 27) Influences of aggression. The first thing to be said about animals is that we should be cautious in drawing lessons from them to explain our own behavior, given the mediating force of culture and our capacity for reflection. â€Å"Our kinship with other animals does not mean that if their behavior seems often to be under the influence of instincts, this must necessarily also be the case in humans,† says anthropologist Ashley Montagu. He quotes one authority who has written: â€Å"There is no more reason to believe that man fights wars because fish or beavers are territorial than to think that man can fly because bats have wings. † (Kohn, 1988, p. 34) Scripted patterns of functioning, non conscious influence of goals and behavioral plans, and a variety of procedural rules guiding behavior, particularly in socio-cultural contexts, (none of which may find representation at a conscious level,) and none of which can be attributed to unconscious emotion related dynamics of coping in society. CONCLUSION Aggression is a social behavior that is only modestly understood. Although a full understanding of human aggressive behavior will certainly still require researchers and clinicians to examine aggressive behavior continuously. â€Å"Although biopsychosocial models of aggression have been proposed and tested, these have limited utility for explaining aggression in the general case. Research on the treatment of aggression lags behind basic research, and has relied largely on the traditional biomedical model for knowledge development and application. † (Coccaro, 2003, p. 72)Awareness and understanding of the social context surrounding knowledge development for aggression may help guide future research efforts and clinical practice. In conclusion, the approach of this paper suggests further independent examination of the motives for affects and actions. Throughout the presentation, supports the formulations of new and innovative theories for further research. In essence, when we as humans encounter one another we can usually process all the relevant information in a considered fashion and count on the principle alone to steer us correctly. Reference(s) Emil F. Coccaro, 2003, Aggression: Psychiatric Assessment and Treatment. Publisher: Marcel Dekker. Place of Publication: New York. Page Number: 1. MS Atkins, DM Stoff,1993, Instrumental and hostile aggression in childhood disruptive behavior disorders. J Abnorm Child Psychol 21:165-178. Albert Bandura, 1973, Aggression: A Social Learning Analysis. Publisher: Prentice-Hall. Place of Publication: Englewood Cliffs, NJ. Page Number: 1. Dolf Zillmann, 1979, Hostility and Aggression Publisher: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. Place of Publication: Hillsdale, NJ. Page Number: 114. Elizabeth Kandel Englander, 2003, Understanding Violence. Publisher: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. Place of Publication: Mahwah, NJ. Page Number: 56. Richard L. Gregory, 1998, The Oxford Companion to the Mind. Publisher: Oxford University Press. Place of Publication: Oxford. Page Number: 211. Douglas P. Fry, Kaj Bjorkqvist, 1997, Cultural Variation in Conflict Resolution: Alternatives to Violence Publisher: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. Place of Publication: Mahwah, NJ. Page Number: 28. Thomas K. Srull, Robert S. Wyer Jr. ,1993, Perspectives on Anger and Emotion. Publisher: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. Place of Publication: Hillsdale, NJ. Page Number: 2. John F. Knutson, Michael Potegal, 1994, The Dynamics of Aggression: Biological and Social Processes in Dyads and Groups. Publisher: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. Place of Publication: Hillsdale, NJ. Page Number: 89. Kent G. Bailey, 1987, Human Paleopsychology: Applications to Aggression and Pathological Processes. Publisher: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. Place of Publication: Hillsdale, NJ. Page Number: 37. Robert B. Cairns, David M. Stoff, 1996, Aggression and Violence: Genetic, Neurobiological, and Biosocial Perspectives. Publisher: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. Place of Publication: Mahwah, NJ. Page Number: 43. K. E. Moyer, 1987, Violence and Aggression: A Physiological Perspective. Publisher: Paragon Press. Place of Publication: New York. Page Number: 33. Jay W. Jackson, Henry C. Karlson, Oliver C. S. Tzeng, 1991, Theories of Child Abuse and Neglect: Differential Perspectives, Summaries, and Evaluations. Publisher: Praeger. Place of Publication: Westport, CT. Page Number: 5. Craig A. Anderson, Brad J. Bushman, 2002, Human Aggression. Journal Title: Annual Review of Psychology. Page Number: 27+. Alfie Kohn, 1988, Article Title: Make Love, Not War: We Keep Hearing That We Are an Aggressive, Warlike Species. Scientists Keep Telling Us That We Have a Choice. Magazine Title: Psychology Today. Volume: 22. Issue: 6. Publication Date: June. Page Number: 34+.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.