ERIC Number: ED372328
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1993
Symposium on Understanding Human Behavior and Experience -- Traits, States, and Situations -- Perspectives from Research on Aggression and Violent Behavior.
Eron, L. D.
This paper analyzes precursors of aggressive behavior and discusses the trait characteristics of aggression. The accumulating evidence for the heritability of aggression, the consistent physiological differences found between aggressive and non-aggressive subjects, the fact that males exhibit more aggression than females, and the belief that aggression emerges early in life and remains persistent, reinforce the concept of aggression as a personality trait. Since these inherent factors influence aggression, when one examines the roles of situational determinants in stimulating violence, one should also look at the past and present situational context for violence in order to understand the emergence of specific aggressive behaviors. While personality is sometimes interpreted in terms of the three components of trait, state, and situation, in order to understand the emergence of aggressive and violent behavior at any given time, these three components are less illuminating than if one views aggression from a cognitive outlook. While trait, state, and situation all have their roles, the concepts of cognition, emotions, and context lend themselves more readily to psychological inquiry and their emergence and effects are more easily explained by principles of learning. (Contains 37 references.) (RJM)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association (101st, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, August 20-24, 1993).