Aggression and rejection

 A cat kills a mouse.
 A man joins a rugby team.
 A farmer kills a turkey for dinner.
 A tennis player smashes her racquet after missing a serve.
 A soldier kills the enemy.
 A golfer breaks his club over his knee.
 A hunter kills an elk for his horns only.
 A woman sprays a would-be rapist with pepper spray.
 Two male college students fight over a female college
 A woman passes along a rumor about a friend’s affair.
 any form of behavior directed toward the goal of
harming or injuring another living being who is
motivated to avoid such treatment
 Hostile vs. instrumental aggression
 Direct vs. indirect (relational) aggression
 Aggression evolved
 so that men can establish dominance over other men
and get higher status
 to protect their mates from other men
 Testosterone effects
 Chimpanzees vs. bonobos
 Culture
 Time
 Herding cultures
 Gender
 Frustration-aggression hypothesis
 Think of a time you felt frustrated
 Frustration leads to aggression if
 Have anger
 Important goal
 Blocked more times
 Blocked to a greater extent
 We learn aggression from watching others, especially
if there are no negative consequences for it.
Bobo doll study
Mirror neurons
Social norms
 General aggression model
 Degree of hostility
 Automaticity
 Degree to which the goal is to harm victim vs. benefit
 Degree to which consequences are considered
 How we interpret a situation affects how we respond to
 Heat
 Noise
 Crowding
 Reminding someone of a violent cue
 Weapons
 Alcohol
 Marijuana
 Watching violent television increases aggressive
behavior, angry emotions, and hostile thoughts
May especially have effects on those already
predisposed to violence
May be especially problematic if the violence goes
unpunished or is rewarded
One-time surveys
Longitudinal surveys
Comparison of the Effect of Violent Media on Aggression With Effects From Other Domains
Note. All correlations are significantly different from zero. a = the effect of smoking tobacco on lung cancer, as estimated by pooling the
data from Figures 1 and 3 in Wynder and Graham's (1950) classic article. The remaining effects were estimated from meta-analyses: b =
Paik and Comstock (1994), c = Weller (1993), d = Wells (1998), e = Needleman and Gatsonis (1990), f = Fiore, Smith, Jorenby, and
Baker (1994), g = Welten, Kemper, Post, and van Staveren (1995), h = Cooper (1989), i = Smith, Handley, and Wood (1990), and j =
Hill, White, Jolley, and Mapperson (1988).
Bushman, B. J., & Anderson, C. A. (2001). Media violence and the American public: Scientific facts versus media misinformation.
American Psychologist, 56(6-7), 477-489. doi:10.1037/0003-066X.56.6-7.477
© 2001 American Psychological Association
 People are also less likely to recall ads they saw during
violent television shows
 Playing violent video games also seems to have an
effect on aggressive behavior
 Weakens inhibitions against violence (“they did it, so
can I“)
Shows people how to do violent acts
May make people more likely to label feelings as anger
Desensitizes us—makes us less affected by violence
Makes people think the world is a more dangerous
 Punishment
 Harsh punishment can actually teach aggression and
doesn’t teach alternative responses
 Death penalty does not seem to deter crime
 Catharsis (acting aggressively)
 Count to 10
 Defuse anger through apology
 Model nonaggressive behavior
 Training in problem solving
 Increase empathy
 Mental illness
 Guns
 Video games
 Teachers not being armed
 Bullied/ignored by other kids
 Divorced mother with guns
Ethnic aggression
Domestic violence
Rape or date rape
School shooters
Bullying (face-to-face)
 Think about the likely reasons why people do the type
of aggression you were assigned
 Come up with an intervention to reduce that type of
 Present it to the class
 Rejection affects the same part of the brain as when we
feel pain
 Rejection hurts even if we can’t see the person
rejecting us and even if it’s a person we don’t like
 Smart-Richman & Leary model
 First feel bad and have lowered self-esteem
 Then react based on how you think about the
 Perception of fairness
 Pervasiveness
 High value of relationship
 Expectations of relationship repair
 Possibility of alternative relationships
 High perceived cost of rejection
Multimotive model of reactions to interpersonal rejection experiences.
Smart Richman, L., & Leary, M. R. (2009). Reactions to discrimination, stigmatization, ostracism, and other forms of interpersonal
rejection: A multimotive model. Psychological Review, 116(2), 365-383. doi:10.1037/a0015250
© 2009 American Psychological Association

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