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Genetics and Aggression
Is aggression inherited?
Twin Studies: MZ vs. DZ. "Coccaro" 50% of the variance in direct aggressive behaviour is
down to genetics. Half of aggression shown is inherited.
Adoption Studies: show us how strong the genetic link is as in a different environment.
"Hutchings & Mednick" 14,000 people who had been adopted in Denmark. Their biological
parents had criminal convictions. AntiSocial behaviour/aggression was high.
Is there a significant gene for aggression?
Maoa, a gene associated with aggressive behaviour.
"Brunner" dutch family in 1980's. Not a very nice family, all males were known for violence
and aggressive behaviour. A large proportion had conducted serious violent crimes such
as rape. They had abnormally low levels of the maoa gene. Shows gene seems to regulate
Correlation not cause.
Never going to find 100% concordance rate.
Never going to find just one gene for one behaviour
Geneenvironment interaction. You might have an inherited a gene, but you need an
environmental trigger. (Diathesis stress model two go together) "Caspi" 500 male
children with low levels of Maoa gene. Those who went on to display aggressive
symptoms were maltreated as children.
Not a gene for violent crime
(+) we can inherit certain personality characteristics that can make us more prone to
committing such acts.
Difference between violent and non violent crimes?
Social Learning Theory/Deindividuation
Ethics excuses aggressive behaviour
Reductionistic. role of violent video games, childhood experiences
Deterministic. no free will in the way that we behave and levels of aggression