Related topics: aggression

Group genomics drive aggression in honey bees

Researchers often study the genomes of individual organisms to try to tease out the relationship between genes and behavior. A new study of Africanized honey bees reveals, however, that the genetic inheritance of individual ...

Researchers explore what drives animal infanticide

At the end of the 1970s, infanticide became a flashpoint in animal behavioral science. Sociobiologist Sarah Hrdy, then a Harvard Ph.D. student, shared her observation in her published thesis that whenever a new langur male ...

When push comes to shove, what is a fight?

Biologists often study animal sociality by collecting observations about several types of behavioral interactions. These interactions can be things like severe fights, minor fights, cooperative food sharing, or grooming each ...

New insights into how genes control courtship and aggression

Fruit flies, like many animals, engage in a variety of courtship and fighting behaviors. Now, Salk scientists have uncovered the molecular mechanisms by which two sex-determining genes affect fruit fly behavior. The male ...

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Aggression

In psychology, as well as other social and behavioral sciences, aggression refers to behavior between members of the same species that is intended to cause pain or harm. Predatory or defensive behavior between members of different species is not normally considered "aggression." Aggression takes a variety of forms among humans and can be physical, mental, or verbal. Aggression should not be confused with assertiveness, although the terms are often used interchangeably among laypeople, e.g. an aggressive salesperson.

There are two broad categories of aggression. These include hostile, affective, or retaliatory aggression and instrumental, predatory, or goal-oriented aggression. Empirical research indicates that there is a critical difference between the two, both psychologically and physiologically. Some research indicates that people with tendencies toward affective aggression have lower IQs than those with tendencies toward predatory aggression. If only considering physical aggression, males tend to be more aggressive than females. One explanation for this difference is that females are physically weaker than men, and so need to resort to other means.

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