Perspectives on fear and Aggression

Essay by TapirTapirHigh School, 11th gradeA-, March 2004

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Perspectives on Fear and Aggression

In the study of Psychology, particularly human behaviour, both aggression and fear are hotly debated topics among theorists. Aggression and fear are both inherent in our world and both serve different functions. Fear refers to a personal fear and can be observed on a personal level, whereas aggression is a group subject, usually concerned with more than one person. These two very primal emotions seem almost out of place in this modern world, and so the conflicting theories, which attempt to explain both fear and aggression, can differ tremendously in their attempt to rationalize this facet of human behaviour. The two topics I will discuss in this essay are, as I mentioned, still disputed today. By addressing them we can see the controversial nature of psychology.

Psychologists consider Fear and Anxiety to be almost exactly the same thing. Fear is the 1. An unpleasant emotion caused by threat of danger, pain, or harm (Oxford 2002) anxiety, or anxiousness is 1.feeling

of worry or unease (op. sit.). So similar are the two in terms of psychological study, they have been baled together. There are many different theories throughout the psychological community concerning fear, its origins and meanings.

Social learning Psychologists, for example, take a very definite stance on fear, they believe that it is a learnt emotion and is not a genetic reflex or understanding we are born with. Social Learning psychology proposes 'True fear requires a rather sophisticated level of cognitive development' (Schnell et. al. 1975, p. 167).

Social learning Psychologists suggest that true fear, what we think of as fear, can only be truly experienced when a child has learnt about 'fear'. To be afraid of something a child must either have experiences something with negative effects or experience something described to them as...