Psychology / Are Humans Naturally Violent

Are Humans Naturally Violent

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Autor:  xZadex  09 December 2012
Words: 2020   |   Pages: 9
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Are Humans Naturally Violent

Are humans pre-disposed to behave violently, or are our violent tendencies due to the external factors of our society? Violent behavior is fascinating to our society. On one hand we promote peace and turning the other cheek to violence, yet in the same day we stand around in a group egging on a fight between angry men. There is debate whether we behave violently with cause, or without cause. Sigmund Freud believed that we are inherently violent, that as part of human nature we are predisposed to act violently, yet many now hold the belief that external motivation is the cause. Numerous authorities now suggest that societal influences lead to violence and it cannot be a natural or biological part of humans but a learned reaction that can be controlled with effort. Our violent tendencies could be a response to frustration and aggressiveness. Some agree that it is scientifically incorrect to say that biology predisposes us to be violent. But be honest, no matter how hard we try to not think badly about someone, when someone aggravates us we naturally think negatively about them, which often leads to violence.

Sigmund Freud was one of the first scientists to delve into the psychological aspects of human aggression. He concluded that aggressive behavior is the human expression of energy that is created by the death instinct. It was Freud’s belief that it is “the organism’s wish to return to the state of nothingness whence it emerged… the stronger the death instinct in a person, the more necessary is it for that person to direct aggression outward against objects and people” (Buss, 1961: 185) Basically Freud said we all hold an unconscious desire to die because of the innate aggression in ourselves and when it is focused outward it is expressed as a form of violence. According to Freud, the only way to satisfy it, to keep ourselves from imploding to all that anger, is catharses, watching or participating in violent events involving anger. Researchers have also been discovering that people are biologically predisposed to violence through experiments with animals. “Data from the five long-term sites with neighboring groups show that intergroup aggression is a pervasive feature of chimpanzee societies” (Wilson & Wrangham, 2003). Studies of primates are then compared to our own human species because we are also believed to be animals of instinct when it comes to violence. One of the chief advocates of this method w ...

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