Aggression Essay 9

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Many psychologists have done research in the field of anger and aggression as it is one of the most common emotions experienced by humans. If prolonged, it can lead to devastating effects such as depression, headaches and various other disorders. A lot of work is being done to help people over come anger and to learn to forgive others. Anger is a feeling which results due to unfulfilled expectations, injustice, frustration, injury or it might be biologically determined. Aggression is the action you take in response to your anger i.e. attacking an individual or a group. There are five inter related dimensions (i.e. cognition, emotion, communication, affect and behavior) which operate simultaneously in any angry situation. Cognition refers to our present thoughts, emotion is the physiological arousal that anger produces, communication is the way in which we show our anger to people, Affect is the way we experience life when we are angry, and lastly, behavior is the way we act when we are angry. All these dimensions collectively shape our thoughts and actions when we are angry or frustrated (http://www.psc.uc.edu/sh/SH_Anger.htm). The real cause behind angry and aggressive behavior is still unclear. Some theorists such as Freud and Konrad Lorenz said that people behaved aggressively because it is ‘human nature' to be hostile and aggressive towards people who we dislike or who are different from us. They said that heredity, hormones, or brain dysfunction were the possible causes of aggression and totally ruled out other possibilities such as external influences. Other theorists (for example Brine and Kelley) said that frustration lead to anger. The social learning theorists (such as Bandura) believed that aggression was not innate nor did frustration lead to anger. According to him, people learned to become aggressive by observing aggressive models and receiving payoffs following aggression. The fault with all these theories is that they have attributed aggression to only one cause, ignoring the other side of the issue. It would be wrong to say that aggression is directly a consequence of heredity as child rearing and observational learning does play a major role in shaping a person's behavior. Thus, we have to consider both sides of the argument and accept that all these influences are important factors in causing aggression. (http://www.mentalhelp.net/psyhelp/chap7/)

Every person behaves differently when frustrated or angered by someone. Anger and aggression take many forms, some being quite subtle. Sometimes when a person is angry, he/she notices a direct change in behavior. Your behavior can become aggressive (name calling, fault finding, slashes of temper), assaultive (slapping, shoving, hitting), hurtful (gossip, stealing), rebellious (anti-social, refusal to talk). These changes in behavior are obvious and can be noticed by the person who is undergoing the change as well as third parties. However, you can also act in less obvious ways such as being irritable, jealous, resentful, judgmental or sulky. Anger can sometimes result in indirect behavior and the person suffering may not know the real cause of the behavior. Such behaviors include withdrawal, depression, mental illness, poor health, alcoholism, over eating, anxiety, or crying. Verbal remarks which may be direct or indirect also reflect what mood a person is in and through these verbal, physical and psychological cues, one can easily recognize his anger.

Apart from recognizing anger, it is also essential to understand anger. What gives rise to anger and aggression? Why are some children more violent than others? Is it because they are genetically different? Or is it due to the differences in their environment and upbringing? Socio-biologists say that the frequency with which countries fight against one another show that we are born with an aggressive nature. We have an urge to destroy anything that stands in our way. These people argue that in order to...
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