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Lecture 17 - Aggression Pt. 2

by: Leslie Ogu

Lecture 17 - Aggression Pt. 2 PSYC 2012

Marketplace > George Washington University > Psychlogy > PSYC 2012 > Lecture 17 Aggression Pt 2
Leslie Ogu
GPA 3.01

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About this Document

We conclude our discussion about aggression with the topics of catharsis, how aggression is learned, what things in our daily lives contribute to our aggression, and how we can reduce our aggression.
Social Psychology
Stock, M
Class Notes
Aggression, social psychology, catharsis, Childhood, Media, violence, Studies, Experiments, adults, Influence, impact, rewards, Benefits, imitation, social learning theory, social situations, environments, factors, learning, ingrained, social norm, tv, Pr
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This 6 page Class Notes was uploaded by Leslie Ogu on Monday April 4, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to PSYC 2012 at George Washington University taught by Stock, M in Fall 2015. Since its upload, it has received 8 views. For similar materials see Social Psychology in Psychlogy at George Washington University.


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Date Created: 04/04/16
Leslie Ogu PSYC 2012  03/30/2016 ­ Aggression Pt. 2    Who/What Do We Learn From?  ➢ Parents  ○ Ex: Physically punitive parents (parents who inflict punishment) tend to  have physically aggressive children  ➢ Society/Culture  ○ Ex: Rape victim sentenced with 200 lashes in Saudi Arabia, honor killings,  gang initiation and culture of violence, etc  ➢ Media  ○ Exposure to violent TV/video games tend to increase aggression    Sources of Aggression  ➢ We must also consider situational influences  ➢ “Culture of Honor”:​  emphasizes honor and social status for men, and  aggression to protect that honor (seen more in the South)  ○ “Machismo”:​  meet challenges to masculinity via fighting/weapons  ○ Southern duels, responses to an insult, pitchers from the South versus  North  ➢ Frustration:​  perception that you’re being prevented from attaining a goal  ➢ Frustration­Aggression Theory:​  frustration increases the probability of an  aggressive response    Other Factors That Influence Aggression  ➢ Aversive Situations  ○ Pain  ■ Ex: In an experiment conducted, participants held on hand in  lukewarm water or painfully cold water  ■ Participants in cold water condition were more irritable / more likely  to aggress  ● Blasted others with loud, unpleasant noise  ○ Heat  ■ More violent crimes committed in summer months  ■ Riots are more likely to occur on hot days  ■ Ex: In an experiment, participants in a hot room were more likely to  report feeling aggressive or hostile on questionnaires  ○ Arousal  ■ Excitation Transfer Theory:​  arousal created by one stimulus can  be misattributed to a 2nd stimulus  ● Ex: Arousal from exercise, violent movies, a frightening  situation, etc. can be attributed to emotions like anger ­  which can lead to aggression  ● Ex: In an experiment, participants who were both aroused  (from exercise) and angry gave higher shock levels to the  other people  ○ Aggressive cues/stimuli  ■ The presence of objects associated with aggression can increase  the probability of aggression  ■ Weapons Effect  ● Def:​  Priming of hostile thoughts, memories, scripts  ○ Ex: Children who played with toy guns were more  likely to knock down another child’s blocks  ○ Ex: College students delivered more electric shock  when a gun was nearby than when a badminton  racket was nearby  ● Experience with weapons influences aggressive thoughts  ○ Pictures of hunting guns were more likely to prime  aggressive thoughts among non­hunters, whereas  pictures of assault guns were more likely to prime  aggressive thoughts among hunters (Bartholow et al.,  2004 experiment)    ○ All of these factors can lead to aggression through:  ■ Aggressive thoughts (e.g., scripts)  ■ Negative affect/mood  ■ Hostile attribution  ○ Influences on Aggression  ➢ Aversive Situation ⇒ Aggressive Cognition or Negative Emotion or Arousal  ⇒ Aggressive Behavior    ○ Aggression is complex  ○ Result of:  ■ Biological factors (e.g., testosterone)  ■ Learned factors (e.g., imitation)  ■ Personal factors (e.g., arousal)  ■ Situational factors (e.g., heat)    Aggression and Catharsis  ➢ Catharsis:​  the idea that observing or engaging in aggression relieves pent­up  aggressive tendencies, and thus makes one less likely to aggres in the future  ➢ Most people believe that catharsis reduce aggressive tendencies  ○ Ex: Therapists have clients hit pillows to vent their anger  ○ People report that it works and that it is calming  ➢ Case Against Catharsis  ○ It doesn’t work  ■ Verbal expressions of hostility  ■ Aggression toward inanimate object  ■ Viewing violent media  ● Focus of today’s lecture  ○ Ebbeson’s Study  ■ Workers were laid­off OR voluntarily left their job  ■ Exit interview  ● Verbalized hostility toward supervisor OR Talked about  neutral aspects of their job  ■ Completed evaluation of supervisor  ● It was more positive for those who were angry and allowed  to vent  ○ Bushman’s Research  ■ 600 College participants  ● All were angered by another participant who criticized their  essay  ■ IV  ● Rumination (hit punching bag while thinking about other  participant)  ● Distraction (hit punching bag and think about physical  fitness)  ● Control Group (no punching bag)  ■ DV  ● Aggression (blast provocateur with loud and long noises)  ● Anger (mood measure)  ■ Catharsis theory prediction: Venting participants less aggressive  ■ Results didn’t support catharsis theory **  ● Participants in the rumination condition were the most angry  and aggressive  ○ Why doesn’t catharsis work?  1. Watching violence on TV, or acting aggressively, “teaches” us how  to aggress (social learning theory)  2. Observing aggression ​ increases​ arousal, and hence the likelihood  to behave aggressively  3. If aggressing feels good, that reward makes it more likely that  aggression will happen again in the future    Media Violence  ➢ 26% violent acts/hour in Saturday morning children’s programs  ➢ 92% of pay cable network programs contain violent content  ➢ 60% of all TV shows contain violence    What is NOT Being Said  ➢ All TV / video games are bad  ➢ The effect of media violence on aggression is simple and direct  ➢ Media violence affects everyone the same way and to the same extent    How Do We Find the Answers?  ➢ Main sources of data  ○ Correlational studies  ○ Longitudinal studies  ○ Experimental studies  ➢ Meta­analysis  ○ Presents a picture of the overall pattern of results across studies  ○ ALL​  of the meta­analyses conducted to date (starting in the 1970s)  support the hypothesis that exposure to violent TV increases the risk of  subsequent aggressive / antisocial behavior  ○ Study:  ■ Anderson et al., 2010 meta­analysis: across multiple countries,  over 130,000 participants  ● Violent videogames = higher aggressive behavior  ■ Effects for experimental, correlational, and longitudinal studies and  for boys and girls    Correlational Studies  ➢ Consistently find that the more violent TV a child watches, the more aggressive  the child tends to be  ○ Get into more fights, have more arguments with teachers, greater hostile  attribution bias  ➢ This relationship remains even when pulling out the influence of other variables  (e.g., intelligence, family characteristics)  ➢ Among college students, playing violent video games is related to aggressive  and delinquent behavior  ○ r =​ .46!! (quite high)  ➢ But what if the direction is reversed?    Longitudinal Studies  ➢ Violent TV watching predicts later aggression, but aggression doesn’t predict  later violent TV watching  ○ Measured both aggressiveness and TV watching at ages 8 and 19  ○ TV at 8 predicted aggressiveness at 19  ○ Aggressiveness at 8 did NOT predict TV at 19  ➢ High levels of violent video game play early in a school year leads to higher  levels of aggression 3­6 months later, controlling for initial aggression level  ➢ 2008 Study: 364 American children ages 9­12 and 1200 children ages of 12­18  from Japan    Experimental Studies  ➢ Children watched a violent or nonviolent TV program  ➢ Then played a game of floor hockey  ➢ Kids who saw the violent program were more aggressive  ➢ Similar findings with college students **  ○ Those who played a violent video game increased aggressive thoughts  and behavior (especially those who are prone to the behaviors)  ➢ Numbing people to difficult, violent, and unpleasant events  ➢ Increases indifferences to real victims of violence  ➢ Repeatedly dehumanizing the “enemy” in games can affect how players regard  real people  ➢ Why does watching media violence have these negative consequences?  ○ Increases physiological arousal and excitement  ○ Triggers an automatic tendency to imitate hostile or violent characters  ○ Primes existing aggressive ideas and expectations  ○ Models ​ social scripts: approved ways of behavior when we are  frustrated, angry or hurt    Why Might Videogame Violence Have an Even Larger Effect Than Other Media?  1. Identification with aggressor increases imitation of the aggressor  2. Active participation increases learning  3. Rehearsing an entire behavioral sequence is more effective than rehearsing only  a part of it  4. Violence is continuous  5. Repetition increases learning  6. Rewards increase learning    Konjin & Colleagues (2007) “I Wish I Were a Warrior” Experiment  ➢ Participants: Adolescent boys  ➢ IV: type of video game played  ○ Violent­realistic  ○ Violent­fantasy  ○ Non­violent realistic  ○ Non­violent fantasy  ➢ DV: level of noise blast given to “partner” on a reaction time task  ➢ Want to be a positive role model / character = lowest level of blast    Parallels with Cigarettes and Lung Cancer  ➢ Not everyone who smokes gets lung cancer, and not everyone who gets lung  cancer is a smoker  ➢ Smoking is not the only factor that causes lung cancer, but it is an important  factor  ➢ The first cigarette can be nauseate. Repeated exposure reduces these sickening  effects, and the person begins to crave more cigarettes.    Reducing Media Effects: What Works?  ➢ Media training with children  ○ Those who produced a video for other kids about dangers of TV were less  likely to show increases in aggression after exposure to violent media  ➢ Parental Monitoring & Guidance  ○ Viewing AND discussing media violence with children  ○ Just viewing media with children has mixed effects ** 


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