Aggression
Psychology


4th period


2-25-04


· What is Aggression.


· Mental processing and why.


· How to prevent aggression.


· Works cited.


· 5 open forum facts.


Anger may do more harm than any other emotion. First of all it is very common and, secondly, it upsets at least two people-the aggressor and the person aggressing.


Anger is feeling mad in response to frustration or injury. You don't like what has happened and usually you'd like to get revenge. Anger is an emotional-physiological-cognitive internal state; it is separate from the behavior it might prompt. In some instances, angry emotions are beneficial; if we are being taken advantage of, anger motivates us to take action (not necessarily aggressive) to correct the situation. Aggression is action, (attacking someone alone or in a group.) It is intended to harm someone. It can be a verbal attack, insults, threats, sarcasm, or doing something to piss them off, or a physical punishment or restriction.


Freud came to believe in a death or aggressive instinct because he saw so much violence, sadism, war, and suicide. Konrad Lorenz believed that species, both animal and human, survived by having an aggressive instinct, which protected their territory and young, and insured only the strongest individuals survived. The sociobiologists, noting the frequency we go to war, also suggest that we have inherited an aggressive nature, a tendency to lash out at anything that gets in our way, a need to dominate and control. There are specific stimulations of the brain that cause or drive people to their aggression, and other Stimulation of other parts that stops aggression. No-one knows how this works


Aggression may also have a chemical, hormonal, or genetic basis to it as well. Other physiological factors seem to be involved, high testosterone (male sex hormone) is associated with more unfaithfulness, more sex, more divorce, more competitiveness, and anti-social behavior. It is also known that a viral infection, called rabies, causes violent behavior. In all of these possibilities--instinct, heredity, hormones, or brain dysfunction--the aggression occurs without apparent provocation from the environment although there is almost always a "target". There is also clear evidence that alcohol consumption and hotter temperatures release aggression, but no one thinks there is something in alcohol or heat that generates


Getting mad is scary... and potentially dangerous. One common way of expressing suppressed anger has been given a special name: passive-aggressiveness. It is releasing your anger by being passive or subtly oppositional. meanness. There is another related form of concealed anger: feeling like a victim. Feeling victimized assumes that someone or some situation has mistreated you. But a person who specializes in constantly feeling like a victim may not identify or accuse his/her abuser. Instead, he/she generally feels that the world is against him/her, that others vaguely intend to make him/her miserable. Victims usually feel helpless; therefore, they take little responsibility for what has happened to them. They think they were terribly mistreated in the past but they now seem unable to accept love and support,if you offer them help, they never get enough or if you try to cheer them up, it seldom works.


Our frustration will be more intense if our goal is highly desirable, if we "get close" to our goal and expect to get it, if the barrier to our goal unexpectedly appears and seems unjustified or unfair, and if we "take things personally.” There are several physiological reactions that accompany frustration, including higher blood pressure, sweating, and greater energy. Psychosomatic symptoms, such as heart disease, occur more often in people who are distrustful but hold in their anger. Some of us explode, others swallow feelings. Our blood pressure sometimes goes up more when we explode, at other times it goes up more when we swallow the feelings, depending on the situation. The more physiologically damaging anger reactions seem to occur under two extreme conditions, mostly, when we feel helpless, or, the opposite, when we have overly optimistic expectations of reaching unreachable goals.


When the angry feelings build up inside, presumably like pressure in a hydraulic system, it is thought by many therapists to be relieving to express the feelings and get them completely "off your chest." This is called venting or catharsis, a cleansing of the system. Early in Freud's career, psychoanalytic therapy depended heavily on catharsis--uncovering old emotional traumas and venting those feeling