Human Aggression

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Human Aggression by Mind Map: Human Aggression

1. Confining and abiding to a certain mindset/role simply because you were told to do so by an authority figure.

2. Enviromental Factor

2.1. The Madness Of Crowds/De-individualization

2.1.1. A state of decreased self evaluation, caused by being a part of a group with a larger intention. Much of the details of individualization is dependant on the level of anonymity of the group. For example, an online forum would be significantly more likely to feel the effects of de-individualization while a fully exposed and small crowd of youngsters would be more socially conscious towards their actions. Nevertheless, it accurately explains many reasons behind actions of individuals in a larger crowd.

2.2. Social Identity Theory

2.2.1. Building a sense of identity based of being part of a group or being implicit in their actions.

2.2.2. Limitations: There are a lot of elements at play concerning the social identity theory. Firstly, if the members of the group are similar in nature (e.g siblings), the truth in the theory may differ. The same may be said for the existence of a 'leader' of this group;  if that is the case; certain elements of the Lucifer Effect may apply. Values: The Social Identity Theory explains group behaviour well and provides insight into many actions in groups.

2.3. Lucifer Effect

3. Biological Factors

3.1. Protecting one's self or one's devices for means of survival or social dominance

3.1.1. Particularly after #5, it is clear how much aggression is required in personal defense against intimidating adversaries. However, it reflects more behavioural approaches to social dominance rather than biological origins.

3.2. An assosication with fear

3.2.1. A study into the association between aggression and the Amygdala part of the brain. Though giving a concise argument into the neurological origins of aggression, it ultimately is compelled in the favour of additional environmental influence, which provides two variables to the cases highlighted and makes me question the validity of the statement.

3.2.2. A study into the neurological origins of aggression and their association with genes. The article is valuable in that it uses widely-known information about the brain and uses this to reach a conclusion, as well as drawing real-life examples. However, it is mostly limited in that it was written a decade ago.

3.3. Similarities in other animals

3.3.1. Exploratory Aggression/curiosity: as seen with human babies, we have an innate tendency to explore and discover. This PDF analyses the same event in chimpanzees. It doe well to explore the truth in chimpanzees' exploratory aggression at youth but fails to manage a fulfilling connection to our own human aggression.

3.3.2. A study suggesting biological origins in chimpanzee violence. While doing very well to be unbiased in the difference of views between human influence on chimpanzee violence, it lacks in that there is no conclusion concerning the actions of a common ancestor.

4. Experimentation

4.1. Stanford Prison Experiment

4.1.1. 1970: An Experiment in which the basement of the Stanford Psychological Wing was turned into a 'prison'. Men were hired to take part in what was intended to be a two week experiment that split the men between prisoners and prison guards. Guards were given no formal instructions aside from keeping the prisoners in and the prison safe. Prisoners were deloused and dressed in dresses before mirrored-sunglass wearing guards. Before long, prisoners began to mould into the weak-willed people they were expected to become, while the guards became tyrannical, odious people. The experiment, which was planned to go on for two weeks, shut down after only six days due to immoral manipulation of students. Psychological parameters were set soon after to ensure no experiment on this immoral scale would ever happen again. Both Zimbardo's direct involvement and the experiment's quick closer are obvious limitations, but the results are still morbidly clear.

4.1.1.1. Another lesson Learned: A lesson on the responsibility of leaders  taught by the results of the experiment

4.1.1.2. A participant in the experiment recounts his experience. The article is very relevant—written in a Stanford magazine article 40 years afterwards—and displays few limitations. However, it provides the view of a guard as opposed to a prisoner.

4.2. The Milgram Experiment/The Obedience Study

4.2.1. 1962: Men were paid to take part in experiment that they were told would test memory. Alongside another seemingly random citizen (who was in fact a paid actor), a rigged coin was used so the non-actor would be 'randomly' selected as the experimenter. He would be seated in a separate room before a mechanism with a range of electric voltage signifiers.  The actor, strapped a chair and connected to electric nodes, would face the non-actor in an adjacent room. Prodded by a man in a lab coat beside him, the actor would read a set of words to the man in the opposite room. If the actor responded incorrectly (as was in reality done purposely), the man was to press a button on the scale and deliver increasingly high voltages. Little did the man know however, that the man 'receiving' the shock was not actually being shocked and was, in fact, acting. The man in the lab coat, armed with a notebook, had the same four prompts to repeat. It was discovered that roughly two-thirds of participants were willing to deliver a fatal electrical shock simply because they were told to do so by a man who took on a role of responsibility. The experiment is questionable on moral grounds as well and has certain partial views (the participants were all men) but still provided insight on how good people can do bad things.

4.2.1.1. A guide to the Milgram Experiment in a lab-report style guide, along with the historical context. It provides effective communication of its information but is on a thin balance between a scientific paper and an informational article.

4.2.1.2. The four prompts: 1) Please continue/Please go on. 2) The experiment requires that you continue 3) It is absolutely essential that you continue 4) You have no other choice, you must go on

4.2.1.3. The reason behind it: Milgram, the head experimenter, wanted to explore the reasons behind atrocities in WWII that were committed by soldiers who were simply following orders.  he discovered that when they believed they were not responsible for their actions, seemingly ordinary people were willing to do unspeakable evil.

5. Defining Human Aggression

5.1. The Definition Of Aggression

5.1.1. "Aggression is behavior whose immediate intent is to hurt someone. It is defined by a behavior's immediate goal, even when the ultimate goal is something else. Conflict often leads to aggression, but aggression also has other origins, for example negative emotions such as anger or frustration." (Social Psychology, p474-475, N.D.) Despite this seemingly accurate and direct response, it offers a psychological and behavioural approach to aggression as opposed to a definition given by a dictionary.

5.2. Being Human

5.2.1. A youth's blog post about her outlook on being human. Though quaint, the post fails in many aspects. Aside from the age of the author not being given, I was also troubled how it failed to address cases in which human responsibilities are not applicable to people, as such in displayed in articles under the 'Biological' section (where brain tumours encourage aggression and abnormal behaviour, etc).

6. A cartoon depicting the biological differences in aggression between men and women.

7. A picture depicting the advertisement for students to participate in the Stanford Prison Experiment

8. The first edition cover of the book "The Lucifer Effect" by Phillip Zimbardo, the conductor of the experiment and 'Prison Superintendent' during ht experiment.

9. Images of the recent protests in Charlotte, NC as a response to the fatal police shooting of an African-American man.

10. This video looks at the biological and neurological origins of aggression in animals and relates it to humans through previous animal experiments and testimonies of aggressive criminals

11. Phillip Zimbardo gives a ted Talk concerning 'the psychology of evil;.