PSYA3 Psychology Aggression- Group Displays of Aggression

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Group Displays of Aggression
Examples: Lynch Mobs, religious Rituals & Sport Events.
Lynch Mobs 2 Explanations.
1. Social Transition and the need for Conformity
"Myrdal" says lynching tends to reach a peak as a right way to gain social control. Out of 4742
Lynchings, ¾ were black.
2. The PowerThreat Hypothesis. "Blalock"
White people think they are loosing power, scapegoat all blacks into same group to give reason to have
Research Support: "Mullen" study. 60 newspaper cuttings18991946. Found the more people
at a lynching, the more torturous it was.
Research Against: "Clark" Brazil. Looked at lynching and found no correlation between black
and whites and lynching.
Sport Events and Xenophobia (hating another race)
"Wilson" Xenophobia has been documented in every group of animals that has a social hierarchy which
leads to group displays of aggression.
Research Support: Link to Natural Selection `survival of the fittest' "Shaw & Wong" natural
thing to be wary of strangers as in EEA would have tried to prevent displays.
Research Against: Excuses Behaviour. "Podalin and Balestin" Looked at Italian hooligans.
North vs. South. Aggression strengthens cultural identity.
"Marsh" oversimplification of what causes aggression says its due to wanting to be respected by
being the top dog which receives respect.
Religious Rituals (harming self not others)
Native Americans Lucino Initiates. Display self inflicted aggression to be initiated. Are not allowed to
show any pain. Group display as people watching.
Shiite Muslims Self flagellation (whipping self with sharp objects) do it on holy day of Ashura.
"Sosis" say they inflict pain as it is important to allow the religious movement to succeed. By all hurting
self they can filter out untrue devotees. If passionate they keep their movement going.
"Zahavi" says that these acts act as deterrents to casual supporters.
Research Support: "Sosis and Bressler" these acts have enabled groups to go on for a very long
Research Against: "Chew" still have untrue devotees in religion as not always deterred. Gains
outway costs.
Real Life examples are used which give high external validity
Also one off examples which make it hard to generalise to each group.
Neglects Biological factors such as hormones
Cultural Bias Kung! San tribe
Gender Bias. Assumes all males and females react in the same way. Football?
Deterministic: do we all respond in the same way? Individual Differences? Free Will?
Reductionistic. Childhood experiences have been neglected.


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