Article

Aggression

Timothy Deckman, Richard S. Pond and C. Nathan DeWall

in Psychology

ISBN: 9780199828340
Published online November 2011 | | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/obo/9780199828340-0087
Aggression

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Violence and aggression are prevalent across human cultures and daily life. One merely has to turn on the television or open an Internet browser to quickly gain access to violent images. For our early human ancestors, aggressive behavior had considerable adaptive value. For instance, aggression is useful for gaining access to precious resources, including food and shelter, and then protecting those resources once they are obtained. Aggression is also useful in gaining access to mates and protecting offspring. Therefore, aggression proved to be a good behavioral strategy for passing on one’s genes to subsequent generations. However, not all acts of aggression are adaptive. Humans depend on social groups for survival, therefore people must negotiate between antisocial and pro-social impulses. Aggression is particularly destructive in modern times, especially since it appears to be so ubiquitous in our everyday interactions. Thus, it remains a large area of study within the social sciences, especially among social psychologists. Psychologists employ a variety of research methodologies to study the causes and consequences of aggression, which groups are most at risk for aggressing against others, and how aggression can be reduced. In the following bibliography, we present general overviews on aggression, which introduce the prevailing psychological theories of aggression and review the research literature on the causes and consequences of aggression. We next present the research methods used by psychologists to study aggressive behavior. The remainder of the bibliography focuses on the major areas of research on aggression, with emphases on genetic and environmental correlates of aggression, as well as self- and emotion-processes that increase or reduce aggressive behavior.

Article.  7902 words. 

Subjects: Psychology ; Cognitive Psychology ; Developmental Psychology ; Health Psychology ; History and Systems in Psychology ; Educational Psychology ; Social Psychology

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