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Aggression is an ordeal that affects all human beings Leonard Berkowitz defines aggression as behaviour carried out with the intention to harm someone In its extreme form aggression is a deliberate attempt to do serious injury as in violence Berkowitz This is a good generalization of the term However it is very limited and doesnt emphasize the various alternative theories of aggression These include the ethological approach the frustration-aggression hypothesis the social learning theory and the social-cognitive perspective In this paper I will outline the basics of each theory and proceed to list pros and cons for each This will allow the reader to distinguish the theories and therefore have a better understanding of what causes aggressive behaviour Growing evidence supports the claim that ethological factors predispose some people toward aggression Ethology is the comparative study of the biological bases of animal and human behaviour Parke and Slaby It argues that behaviour evolved for survival and reproductive purposes Famous ethologist Konrad Lorenz sees aggression as an instinctual system He describes it as an innate urge that is triggered by specific environmental stimuli Lorenz outlines three primary species-preserving functions that lead to aggression in animals The first is the ecological function which allows a man to fight for his territory The second is the intraspecific combat function which leads to the theory of natural selection The last function is brood defence which says the species that can best protect their youth will survive over the long term Behavioural scientists have criticized mainly three aspects of Lorenzs work First is his dependence on animal instincts and his negligence of the process of social learning It has been proven that learned behaviour takes precedence in a situation of aggression Next Lorenzs theory revolves around his use of an energy model of motivation Recent studies have concluded that energy models are too deceptive because there is no neurophysiological evidence to support them Lastly Lorenzs studies are mostly performed on
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