Aggression

Topics: Aggression, Violence, Anger Pages: 5 (1818 words) Published: November 30, 2013
Are Humans Innately Aggressive or Do We Learn To Be Aggressive? 013587
The debate on nature and nurture occurrence of aggression had been going on for centuries.   Psychologist had not found any strong evidence supporting either one of the approach.  Looking deeply into aggression, we can say that there are 2 main types of aggression, which are instrumental and hostile aggression (Peter Mitchell & Fenja Ziegler, 2013).  Instrumental aggression is referring to someone acting aggressively to achieve a certain goal.  Children fighting for a toy is an example of instrumental aggression.  Whereas, if an individual act aggressively just to release his or her frustration, we can say that hostile aggression is expressed.  One simple example of hostile aggression is parents abusing a child out of anger.  As aggression is accountable for most of the violent crimes, pressure for researcher on finding the root of aggression increased in order to reduce crime rate in their country or even the world. By understanding aggression well, we can help to prevent one from behaving aggressively and who knows, we can even help them to avoid from committing crimes. Psychologists had their own definition for aggression.  Bandura (1973) defined aggression as a “behaviour that results in personal injury or destruction of property” (Michael A. Hogg & Graham M. Vaughan, 2011).  Whereas, Scherer, Abeles & Fischer (1957) sees aggression as a “behaviour intend to harm another of the same species” (Michael A. Hogg & Graham M. Vaughan, 2011).  According to the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary, it defines aggression as “spoken or physical behaviour which is threatening or involves harm to someone or something” (Paul Procter. (Ed.), 2005).  In short, aggression is referred as a behaviour expressed by an individual which will bring harm to others, physically or mentally alike.  Innate aggression is referred to inherited and inevitable to aggression, whereas, learned aggression is referring to environmental or social factors causing an individual to behave aggressively ().  Hence, psychologist siding innate aggression are finding biological evidence to support their hypothesis, whereas, psychologists who was on the nurtured side of aggression will be finding evidence about an individual imitating observed behaviour expressed by other individual. Innate Aggression

Twins and Adoption Studies.  In order to prove the validity of the innate aggression, some researcher had done some survey on twins and adopted children.  The method used in the twins study is by comparing the consistency result between identical and non-identical twins.  As most of the identical twins are sharing the same gene while non-identical twins has only up to 50% similarity in gene.  If aggression was innate, then consistency in identical twins should be higher than non-identical twins. As expected, McGuffin and Gottesman (1985) found that the consistency of aggression shown on identical twins are 15% higher than aggression expressed on non-identical twins (Adam D. Clarke, 2011), which supported the innate aggression hypothesis.  This conclusion is similar with the adoption study on children.  Hutchings and Mednick (1973) had done a study of over 14000 adoptions in Denmark. They found that if adopted children with biological parents having violence crime record (especially father), then the child is more likely to be involved in violent crime though there is no violence record in their foster family (Adam D. Clarke, 2011).  Although both studies had shown persuasive evidence towards innate aggression, it is important to note that in both studies, it is still impossible to wipe out the environmental factors acting on these studies as well.  In the twins study, there is still high level of consistency of aggression occurring on non-identical twins.  This is possible to think that there are other factor to be taken account in the twins study, the shared and non-shared environment...
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