Aggression  

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"Konrad Lorenz stated in his 1963 classic, On Aggression, that human behavior is shaped by four main, survival-seeking animal drives. Taken together, these drives—hunger, fear, reproduction, and aggression—achieve natural selection. E. O. Wilson elaborated in On Human Nature that aggression is, typically, a means of gaining control over resources. Aggression is, thus, aggravated during times when high population densities generate resource shortages. According to Richard Leakey and his colleagues, aggression in humans has also increased by becoming more interested in ownership and by defending his or her property. However, UNESCO adopted the Seville Statement of Violence in 1989 that refuted claims, by evolutionary scientists, that genetics by itself was the sole cause of aggression." --Sholem Stein

Dempsey and Firpo (1924) by George Bellows
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Dempsey and Firpo (1924) by George Bellows

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

In psychology and other social and behavioral sciences, aggression refers to behavior that is intended to cause harm or pain. Aggression can be either physical or verbal, and behavior is classified as aggression even if it does not actually succeed in causing harm or pain. Behavior that accidentally causes harm or pain is not aggression. Property damage and other destructive behavior may also fall under the definition of aggression. Aggression is not the same thing as assertiveness.

Aggression is a perplexing phenomenon. Why are people motivated to hurt each other? How does violence help organisms to survive and reproduce? After two centuries of theories and technological advances, psychologists and other scientists have been able to look deeply into aggression's biological and evolutionary roots, as well as its consequences in society. Humans share aspects of aggression with non-human animals, and have specific aspects and complexity related to factors such as genetics, early development, social learning and flexibility, culture and morals.


Etymology

The term aggression comes from the Latin aggressio, meaning attack. The Latin was itself a joining of ad- and gradi-, which meant step at. The first known use dates back to 1611, in the sense of an unprovoked attack. A psychological sense of "hostile or destructive behavior: dates back to 1912, in an English translation of the writing of Sigmund Freud. Alfred Adler had theorized about an "aggressive drive: in 1908. Child raising experts began to refer to aggression rather than anger from the 1930s.

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Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Aggression" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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