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David Barash

Essay by   •  May 13, 2011  •  Essay  •  360 Words (2 Pages)  •  1,787 Views

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David Barash, Payback: Why We Retaliate, Seek Revenge, and Redirect Aggression . . . And What We Can Do About It

Mr. Barash talked about the idea of hate and why people exhibit it. He also discusses methods of how people deal with hate or anger. Initially, Barash started the lecture talking about the holocaust and stated that this was the most vivid example of hate and anger. Barash also stated modern examples of aggression. For example, if you have a bad day at school, and you are on your way home, someone cuts you off. You would probably give them "the finger" and get angry (something you wouldn't normally do). Another example Barash gave was aggression against spouse (money/bills/etc.). Barash then went on to discuss a common phenomenon between animals and humans. This phenomenon is called redirect aggression: individual a attacks b....b responds by attacking individual c (and so on).

The next topic that Barash talked about was the 3 responses to pain (3r). There are 3 different ways in which people respond to pain: retaliation, revenge, and redirect aggression. Retaliation is when you harm individual b and b gets you back. Revenge is when you hurt b...b doesn't do anything...but eventually gets back at you with "amplified" force. Redirect aggression is when b doesn't retaliate...but passes it on to someone else. Barash stated that redirect aggression is what is causing our society to become more and more dysfunctional.

Barash goes on to discuss various lab experiments that had been done on mice. A rat is put into a cage, it is then shocked, and the rat is feeling very uncomfortable, which means that it increases in blood pressure and testosterone. Another rat is put in a cage and shocked. A stick is given to the rat and whenever it gets shocked, it bites the stick. The stress response in this rat is not high at all, indicating the stick acts as some sort of stress reliever. 2 rats are then put inside a cage and one rat gets shocked. The rat that was shocked bites another rat, which indicates passing stress to someone else.

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