13 Social Psychology
STEP 4 Review the Knowledge You Need to Score High
Aggression is defined as an act of delivering an aversive stimulus to an unwilling victim. Psychologists distinguish between two types of aggression—instrumental and hostile. Instrumental aggression has as its purpose the satisfaction of some goal behavior or benefit. A mother will “fight” her way through a crowd at Christmas time to get the last of a “must-have” toy for her child. Hostile aggression, on the other hand, results when a person feels pain, anger, or frustration. The aggression is an attempt to strike out against something or someone seen as the cause of this discomfort. Road rage is a modern example of hostile aggression that may result from a fairly trivial action of another motorist. Freud and Lorenz believed aggression to be a natural human instinct. Other theorists, including cultural anthropologists, note a diversity of more passive and aggressive cultures worldwide, suggesting that aggression is a learned normative behavior. Researchers who have examined the influence of watching television violence conclude that it does lead children and teens to act more aggressively.
What makes you attracted to another individual? What factors play a role in what we find enticing and what is a “turn-off”? Social psychologists find that the most influential factor in attraction is similarity. That means “like attracts like” NOT “opposites attract.” As shallow as it sounds, according to research done by Swami and Furnham in 2008, people are strongly influenced, at least on first encounter, by physical attractiveness. This is not surprising due to the highly influential role of the media in portraying what is “attractive.” Although at first, people may be drawn to someone based on superficial qualities, long-term love or compansionate love is due to similarity and a mutually enmeshed life.