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Aggression is a very general term covering a wide range of behaviours that involve
- The practice or habit of launching attacks.
- Hostile or destructive behavior or actions.
In psychology, aggression encompasses many different types of behaviour, some of which are not clearly related to each other. Consequently, aggression has been a difficult term to provide one concise definition for.
Moyer (1968) presented an early, and highly influential, classification of seven different forms of aggression.
- Predatory aggression: attack on prey by a predator.
- Inter-male aggression: competition between males of the same species over access to females, dominance, status etc. Inter-female aggression also occurs
- Fear-induced aggression: aggression associated with attempts to flee from a threat
- Irritable aggression: aggression directed towards an available target induced by some sort of frustration (e.g. schedule-induced aggression)
- Territorial aggression: defence of a fixed space against intruders, typically conspecifics.
- Maternal aggression: a female's aggression to protect her offspring from a threat. Paternal aggression also exists.
- Instrumental aggression: aggression directed towards obtaining some goal, maybe a learned response to a situation
Other types of aggression identified include:
- Alternate aggression
- Altruistic aggression
- Anticipatory aggression
- Displaced aggression
- Indirect aggression
- Induced aggression
- Relational aggression
- Weaning aggression
Identification of aggressive behaviour
Not all aggression is direct or readily identifiable. Some aggression may occur in the context of what appear to be a friendship. Such Relational aggression may involve domination, even sadism as the more powerful friend torments the weaker through threats of exclusion. Indirect aggression or passive-aggression involves such actions as spreading rumors about others, even lies; as may social aggression which attacks self esteem or social status.
Theories of Aggression
Biological basis of aggressive behaviour
Exposure to elevated androgen concentrations in the womb has been link to increased aggressiveness in adulthood in both lab mice (vom Saal & Bronson, 1980; Ryan & Vandenbergh, 2002) and humans (Reinisch, 1977; Reinisch, 1981; Berenbaum & Reinisch, 1997).
Enhanced levels of aggression in male mice and monkeys have been associated with the hormone monoamine oxidase A, MAO-A. However, studies in macaque and humans showed that its negative effects can usually be mitigated by parenting.
- Biological basis of aggression
- Neurochemistry of aggression
- Psychoneurology of aggression
- Genetics and aggression
- Evolution and aggression in man
Aggression as instinct
Aggression and motivation
Aggression is one of the most important and most controversial kinds of motivation. Its use as a category in the psychology of motivation has often been criticised, because it is clear that it encompasses a vast range of phenomena, from modern war to squabbles between individuals. It is far from clear that these have anything in common other than the risk that someone gets hurt.
Aggression and anxiety
Aggression and fear
Aggression and frustration
- Frustration and aggression
- Frustration-aggression hypothesis
- Relative Deprivation Theory of aggression
- Cue-arousal Theory of aggression
Aggression and pain
Aggression and arousal
Cognitive behavioural theory of aggression
Psychodynamic theories of aggression
Social psychology theories of aggression
- Aggression and groups
- Aggression and deindividuation
- Social Learning Theory of aggression
- Aggression and television
- Media violence research
Aggression and environmental factors
A number of environmental variables have been shown to be linked with increased aggression:
- Aggression and economic conditions
- Aggression and over-crowding
- Aggression and heat
- Aggression and noise
Gender and aggression
Aggression and child development
Aggression and personality
The tendency to act aggressively has been researched in terms of personality variables
Aggression and clinical psychology
Aggression in education
Aggression in the workplace
Aggression in animals
- Main article: Aggression in animals
- Agonistic behaviour
- Animal aggressive behaviour
- Attack behavior
- Behavior disorders
- Bobo doll experiment
- Challenging behaviour
- Conduct disorder
- Conflict theory
- Konrad Lorenz
- Male-male aggression, as component of sexual selection
- Resource holding potential
References & Bibliography
- Brain, (1981). Multidisciplinary Approaches to Aggression Research , Brain & Benton (Eds), Elsevier/North Holland, Amsterdam, .
- Berkowitz. L. (1993b) Aggression: Its Causes, Consequences, and Control. New York: McGrawHill.
- Dollard,J., Doob, Leonard.W., Miller,N.E., Mowrer,O.H., and Sears, Robert R. Frustration and Aggression. New Haven:Yale University Press, 1939.
- Campbell, Anne. Men, Women and Aggression. New York: Basic Books, 1993, p. 8.
- Lorenz, K. (1966) On Aggression.(Marjorie Kerr Wilson, Trans.) New York: Harcourt, Brace & World, Inc.,
- Kania, J. (1988) Aggression: Conflict in Animals and Humans Reconsidered. London: Longman.
- Nemeroff, The Biology and Mechanism of Aggression
- Zillman, D. (1979) Hostility and Aggression, Hillsdale, N.J.: Lawrence Erlbaum.
- Anderson, C.A. and Bushman. B. 1. (1997). External validity of 'trivial' experiments: The case of laboratory aggression, Review of General Psychology, 1, 19-41.
- Anderson, C.A. and Bushman, R. (2002). Human aggression. Annual Review of Psychology 119, 53,27-51.
- Berkowitz, L. (1990). On the formation and regulation of anger and aggression: a cognitive neoassociationistic analysis, American Psychologist, 45, 494-503.
- Berkowitz. L. (1993a). Pain and aggression: Some findings and implications. Motivation and Emotion, 17.277-93.
- Lore, R. and Schultz. L. A. (1993). Control of human aggression: a comparative perspective, American Psychologist, 48. 16-25.
- Moyer, K.E. (1968). Kinds of aggression and their physiological basis. Communications in Behavioral Biology, 2A:65-87.
- Google Scholar
- Baron, R. A. (1983) The control of human aggression: an optimistic perspective, Journal of Social and Clinical 1. 97-119.
- Berkowitz. L. (1998) Aggressive personalities, in D. F. Barone. M. Hersen mid V.B. Van Hasselt (eds) Advanced Personality. New York: Plenum Press.
- Bushman, B. J., Baumeister, R. F. and Stack, A. D. (1999) Catharsis. aggression. and persuasive influence: self-fulfilling or self-defeating prophecies? Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 76. 367-76.
- Hovland, C.I. and Sears, R. (1940) Minor studies in aggression, VI Correlation of lynchings with economic indices, Journal of Psychology 9: 301-10.
- Prentice-Dunn, S, and Rogers, R.W. (1982) Effects of public and private self-awareness on deindividuation and aggression, Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 43: 503-13.
- Tedeschi, J., & Quigley, B. (1996). Limitations of laboratory paradigms for studying aggression. Aggression & Violent Behavior, 2, 163-177.
- Berkowitz, L. (1965). Some aspects of observed aggression. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 2, 359-369.
- Salinger, K. (1995) A behavior-analytic view of anger and aggression, in H. Kassinove (ed.) Anger Disorders: Definition, Diagnosis, and Treatment. Philadelphia, PA: Taylor & Francis.
Aggression: Academic support materials
- Aggression: Lecture slides
- Aggression: Lecture notes
- Aggression: Lecture handouts
- Aggression: Multimedia materials
- Aggression: Other academic support materials
- Aggression: Anonymous fictional case studies for training
- Theories of Aggression
- Can the Source of Aggression be found in the Brain?
- One hour radio broadcat discussing aspects of aggression
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