Aggression Essay

835 words - 3 pages

Aggression is defined as any behavior that is intended to harm someone. Several studies have shown that exposure to television violence increased aggressiveness and that aggressive children tend to look for the more violent programs. These are not the only factors being studied though. There are several theories that branch out from such ideas. There are two main factors that can possibly explain aggression; biological and psychosocial factors.The first biological factor is instinct. Instinctual theorists believe that human nature is instinctively aggressive because aggression has a long history and is found within all cultures. Freud suggested that aggression is inborn and that it cannot be eliminated. Evolutionary psychologists, although studying instinctual aggressiveness like instinctual theorists, propose that aggression evolved from only the 'survival of the fittest' instinct. Freud saw aggression as destructive and disruptive. Ethologists believe that aggression prevents overcrowding and allows the strongest animals to win mates and reproduce the species. Most social psychologists reject these views of aggression being a result of instinct.The second biological factor in aggression is genetics. It is believed that some individuals are genetically predisposed to have hostile irritable temperaments and to engage in aggressive behaviors. However this does not mean that individuals have to behave aggressively because aggression also develops from other factors such as a complex interaction of biology, social experience and each individual's behavior.The third biological factors are the brain and nervous system. Severing specific parts of an animal's brain has a direct effect on aggression. Research on brain injuries and organic disorders has also identified possible aggression circuits in the brain. Studies have mostly been focused on the hypothalamus, amygdale and other areas of the brain to explain this relationship.The fourth biological factor in aggression is substance abuse and other mental disorders. Substance abuse (mostly alcohol) within the general public is a major factor in most forms of aggression; child abuse,spousal assault, robberies, murders, stabbings, and so on. Homicide rates are also higher among men with schizophrenia and antisocial disorders, particularly if they have been abusing alcohol.The final biological factor in aggression is hormones and neurotransmitters. Several studies have linked testosterone to aggressive behavior. The relationship between human aggression and testosterone is complex. Testosterone seems to increase aggression and dominance, but dominance itself increases testosterone. Violent behavior has also been linked with low levels of serotonin and gamma amino butyric acid.The...

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