Sunday, May 4, 2014
This is a great overview of human aggression from the psychology department of Iowa State University. It does a great job of explaining aggression and the many theories that surround it, both cognitive and social psych related. It begins by defining it; Aggression is any behavior intended to cause immediate harm.
This is such a broad definition, and while we all know what aggression is, the ins and outs of what is and is not considered aggression is not always as clear. The article discusses five main theories of aggression, including the most widely accepted one, Social Learning Theory. The others include : Cognitive Neoassociation Theory, Script Theory, Excitation Transfer Theory, and Social Interaction Theory.
The Social Learning Theory says that people "acquire" aggressive responses the same way they do other complex forms of social behavior, either by direct experience or observation of others. I agree with this explanation the most because it seems to be the most plausible in regards to how we learn our behaviors. Children often emulate their parents because they watch them constantly, and many of us gain our mannerisms from our parents at a very young age, before we even understand what behavior really is.
Overall this article is very helpful for further understanding aggression and the numerous theories that surround it as one of the more important human emotions.