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Charles Bennett
Charles Bennett

The Social Psychology Of Aggression (Social Psy...


Most of the research in social psychology on harm doing behavior is conceived as aggression. There is no separate basic research area on violence, although sometimes high levels of aggression or inflicting physical harm are referred to as violence. The same causal factors that instigate aggressive behavior are assumed to also generate violent behavior. Examination of recent textbooks in social psychology indicate that they all have a chapter on aggression, but violence is only mentioned as a descriptive term referring to content of television programs or violent crimes. Applied researchers do of course study spouse and child abuse, sexual coercion, the effects of depictions of violence in the mass media, assaults and homicides, and (less often) terrorism, but no cohesive scientific theory of violence has been offered.




The Social Psychology of Aggression (Social Psy...



Rowell Huesmann: Huesmann has proposed that individuals are characterized by a system of world schemas, scripts, and normative beliefs that influence information processing in social problem solving and contribute to individual differences in aggressive behavior. With longitudinal field studies that follow children into adulthood, he is investigating the role of cultural and the mass media, parents, peers, and predisposing personal factors in molding these social cognitions. With laboratory research he is examining the immediate influence of these cognitions on affective responses to provocation and observing violence. With preventive intervention studies in the field, he is examining whether these social cognitions can be changed resulting in changes in aggression and violence. -- Rowell Huesmann's Profile.


Attitudes and persuasion researchers at the University of Michigan address questions of attitude formation, attitude change, attitude structure, attitude measurement, and how attitudes guide behavior. Many of these questions are examined with topics having applied and practical significance, such as racial attitudes, political attitudes, attitudes towards the death penalty, and the effects of media on aggression and stereotypes. In addition to the social psychology program, attitude research is conducted at the Survey Research Center, the Center for Political Studies, The University of Michigan Business School, and the departments of sociology, political science, and communication, providing a rich interdisciplinary environment for research in this field.


Rowell Huesmann: Huesmann focuses on the role that beliefs and attitudes play in controlling aggression and social conflict. He is investigating both cross-cultural differences in attitudes and beliefs related to the approval of interpersonal aggressive behavior and in the development in childhood and adolescence of individual differences in normative beliefs about the appropriateness of aggression. His information processing theory emphasizes prominent roles for early environment and the mass media in shaping such beliefs. Rowell Huesmann's Profile


Drinking alcohol clearly has important effect on social behaviors, such as increasing aggression, self-disclosure, sexual adventuresomeness, and so on. Research has shown that these effects can stem from beliefs we hold about alcohol effects. Less is known about how alcohol itself affects these behaviors. A cognitive explanation, that alcohol impairs the information processing needed to inhibit response impulses--the abilities to foresee negative consequences of the response, to recall inhibiting standards, and so on--has begun to emerge. We hypothesize that alcohol impairment will make a social response more extreme or excessive when the response is pressured by both inhibiting and instigating cues--in our terms, when it is under inhibitory response conflict. In that case, alcohol's damage to inhibitory processing allows instigating pressures more sway over the response, increasing its extremeness. In the present meta-analysis, each published test of alcohol's effect on a social, or socially significant behavior was rated (validated against independent judges) as to whether it was under high or low inhibitory conflict. Over low-conflict tests, intoxicated subjects behaved only a tenth of a standard deviation more extremely than their sober controls, whereas over high-conflict tests they were a full standard deviation more extreme. The effect of conflict increased with alcohol dosage, was shown not to be mediated by drinking expectancies, and generalized with few exceptions across the 34 studies and 12 social behaviors included in this analysis.


I am a social psychologist whose primary research is focused on understanding the causes of aggression and violence, as well as the interventions that mitigate aggressive impulses. To this end, my research investigates the affective processes, personality characteristics, and social contexts that work to amplify or buffer the cycle of violence. Thus, my work touches on a variety of topics, including: emotions, social rejection, romantic relationships, religiosity, and self-control. One area of research that I am currently pursuing explores how individual differences in emotion differentiation (i.e., the tendency to identify and classify emotional experiences with specific vs. general affect terms) buffers the impact of provocation on aggressive tendencies. That is, people who are better at differentiating their emotions are much less aggressive when they are provoked to feel anger, compared to people who differentiate their emotions more generally (Pond et al., 2012). One mechanism underlying the moderating effect of emotion differentiation is better emotional control among high differentiators. My lab uses a multimethod approach to understanding aggression, however, much of my work incorporates longitudinal and daily diary/experience-sampling methods to examine issues pertaining to within-person variability in aggressive tendencies. Finally, I also have extensive interests and training in statistical methods, including: Meta-Analysis, Hierarchical Linear Modeling, Structural Equation Modeling, Dyadic Data Analysis, and Social Network Analysis.


Chester, D. S., Eisenberger, N. I., Pond, R. S., Jr., Richman, S. B., Bushman, B. J., & DeWall, C. N. (in press). The interactive effect of social pain and executive functioning on aggression: An fMRI experiment. Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience.


Prerequisites: PSY 150; Completion of the lower division writing requirement. Corequisite/Prerequisite for Psychology majors only: Concurrent enrollment in or prior completion of PSY 301. Survey of phenomena that affect individual behavior. Topics include attitudes, affiliation, aggression, altruism, person perception, liking, social interaction, social influence and group dynamics. This course fulfills the 300-level Social Psychology Cluster requirement for Psychology majors.


PSY 207 - Social Psychology The course will focus on the ways in which human behavior influences and is influenced or determined by the social situations in which it occurs. Topics include: social persuasion and perception, attitudes, prejudice, interpersonal attraction, aggression, conformity, and group dynamics.Prerequisite(s): PSY 101 3 lecture hours per week3 credit hours


Bandura, Berkowitz and others, the proponents of social learning theory view that an arousal which results from frustration does not necessarily lead to aggression, but only creates a condition for a readiness to cope with a threatening situation.


PSY 24000 - Introduction To Social Psychology Credit Hours: 3.00. Not open to students with credit in SOC 34000 . A broad survey in current knowledge about human social behavior. Topics covered include aggression, attraction and love, social influence, attitudes and attitude change, nonverbal communication, leadership, prejudice and discrimination, and application of social psychology to law, medicine, and other fields. Typically offered Fall Spring Summer. CTL:ISH 1024 Social Psychology


Drama (1957)Topics: Social, moral developmentActors: Henry Fonda, John FiedlerPlot: A diverse group of 12 jurors deliberates the fate of an 18-year-old Latino accused of murdering his father. As a lone dissenting juror tries to convince the others that the case is not as open-and-shut as it appears, individual prejudices and preconceptions about the trial emerge.Recommended by: Dr. Lara AultWhy recommended: The movie has tremendous lessons and value in social psychology. It addresses prejudice, conformity, aggression, group interaction, leadership, persuasion, and other basic areas of social psychology and the study of normal human behavior.


Drama (2001)Topics: Abnormal psychology, psychotic disorders/schizophreniaActors: Russell Crowe, Ed Harris, Jennifer ConnellyPlot: Based on the life of mathematical genius and Nobel Laureate John Forbes Nash, who suffers from severe mental illness, this film won four Academy Awards including Best Picture.Recommended by: Dr. Antonio LaverghettaWhy recommended: The film sheds light on the life and suffering of a person living with schizophrenia. Psychology students will notice that Nash exhibits many of the symptoms used to diagnose schizophrenia and can follow the increasing intensity of these symptoms and the effect on him and those around him. The film also shows the difficult task of managing the disorder and the importance of social support.


Biographical/sport (2009)Topics: Social psychology, including social influence, family relationsActors: Quinton Aaron, Sandra Bullock, Tim McGraw, Kathy BatesPlot: "The Blind Side" is the true story of Michael Oher, a homeless African-American boy who is adopted by a wealthy white family, the Tuohys. Michael realizes his full potential, succeeding in school and becoming a first-round pick in the 2009 NFL draft.Recommended by: Dr. Helen OderindeWhy recommended: This film does a good job of highlighting some of the difficulties and misunderstandings that take place when people of different cultures attempt to bridge cultural and racial differences and connect on an intimate level. The film also shows how mutually beneficial this engagement can be: the Tuohys open the door to educational and financial opportunity for Michael and he, in turn, opens their minds. 041b061a72


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