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Discuss whether aggression can be explained by evolutional explanations

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Introduction

´╗┐Discuss whether aggression can be explained by evolutional explanations ________________ The evolutionary explanation, or instinct theory, states that aggression is an adaptive response. This response enables us to obtain resources, defend against attack, eliminate competition for mates and force sexual fidelity from mates. In 1966 Lorenz stated that there were four main drivers behind animal aggression; fear, reproduction, hunger and anger. He also stated that aggression could occur only within a species not across two different species. Lorenz discussed that aggression between two animals is often ritualised. Ritualised aggression itself is aggressive, but little harm actually comes to either animal. This theory is backed up by Morris in 1990, he found that animal disputes show a lot of restraint, this restraint is called an appeasement tactic e.g. dogs show their belly when they feel threatened to stop the opponent from taking the fight any further. The evolutionary approach to aggression states that there are four aims of aggression; to win or control territory, increasing solidarity between males and females, becoming and maintain a dominant role and natural selection through survival of the fittest. ...read more.

Middle

Buss and Duntley (2006) said that humans have evolved adaptations through natural selection to produce what we now call murder. They discussed how if murder is used is determined by four factors; the degree of relatedness between killer and victim, the relative status of killer and victim, the sex of killer and victim and the size and strength of the killer?s and victim?s alliances. In order to evolve as a strategy it must have been associated with greater reproductive success than conflicting strategies. Wilson and Daly in 1985 said that sexual jealousy, lack of resources and threats to male status are all reasons for murder to occur. Wilson and Daly support both their prior study and the study by Buss and Duntley by over viewing the Detroit murders of 1972. They found that the motive behind most of the killings, both killers and victims were unemployed, unmarried and young, low status without a mate. The problem with Buss, Duntley, Wilson and Daly?s research is that is says the act of murder is determined by our evolutionary ...read more.

Conclusion

Similarly, Contagion theory can also explain group aggression; people are influenced by the way a group acts. The individuals do not need to think similarly, they conform to the behaviour of one ?bad egg.? Smelser (1963) argued that social life and its processes affect how individuals behave. This is weakness of the evolutionary theory; aggression is not only affected by our genes it is also affected by our social learning and environment. Smelser also argued that six things are necessary for a social movement to emerge. Structural conduct and if people realise their society has a problem, if society fails to meet expectation and deprives the people, growth and spread of an explanation, if one event triggers a reaction from a crowd, mobilisation for action where people distribute information about a cause and finally a lack of social control leads to a protesting crowd. In conclusion, the instinct theory can explain aggression; the only problem is it doesn?t take into account factors such as culture and it completely ignore the fact that we could learn to be aggressive through social learning. So overall a mixture of different explanations is needed to explain aggression. ...read more.

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