Thursday, April 30, 2009

Aggerssion- Final Post

Over the course of this semester, I wrote my weekly blog posts on the topic of aggression. I read articles that covered aggression in everything from the media to animals and to humans. One thing that I can conclude indefinitely from my research is that aggressiveness, like so many other traits, has strong biological, psychological, and social implications. For instance, in the case of rhesus monkeys, there were two distinctly different promoter genes that controlled the amount of serotonin receptors in the brain. However, monkeys that were genetically prone to aggressiveness could overcome this precursor if they were raised by their mothers. I learned that the biological components involved in aggression were mainly the neurotransmitter serotonin (levels, receptors, re-uptake...) and the hormone testosterone. Higher levels of testosterone as well as lower levels of serotonin can have a hand in aggressive behavior. Overall, ones upbringing is also a good indication of how aggressive he or she will be. This is evident in the case of the rhesus monkeys, as well as in humans; those who are raised in around violent behavior are much more likely to exhibit violent behavior themselves in childhood and adulthood. The media also plays a role in aggressive behavior, although this is easily overcome by good parenting and effective reinforcement. Children, when exposed to violent media , tend to emulate the behavior unless they know that there is a consequence to the action. Popular culture also tends to glorify and reward violent behavior, as in professional wrestling, movies, websites, and even childrens cartoons. However, it is not only physical aggression that is glorified, but verbal aggression is given its fair share of the limelight too. TV shows such as MTV's Yo Momma, rap battles, and again, professional wrestling all tend to reward the contestant who can more offensively verbally assault his opponent    Together, all of these factors (social, psychological, and biological) can explain why we see as much violence and aggressive behavior as we do now-a-days. It is clear that most of this aggressive behavior can be prevented if the warning signs are detected in early childhood, and the proper parental measures are taken.

As far as this blog goes for the Jame's Scholar assignment, I liked it a lot. It allows for a great deal of flexibility, which is nice when you have so many other things to worry about. Also, I feel that delving so deeply into one specific topic really does give you a more thurough understanding of the subject than if we were to blog about, say, a different topic every week. All in all, I feel like I have gained a great deal of knowledge on the topic of aggression, and would not change anything about the assignment if i had the choice to.

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