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Aggression (Essay Sample)


Question 1: Which of the five core social motives (belonging, understanding, controlling, enhancing self, trusting others) do you think best explains the decline in violence as discussed in Dr. Steven Pinker's talk?
Question 2: People often experience a lot of resistance to learning that violence is decreasing. This is because it goes against what we think we know. With this in mind, what are your reactions to Dr. Steven Pinker's talk?
Question 3: The link of violent media to aggression is one of the most reliable findings in social psychology. Yet, media violence continues as standard fare. If you need more convincing on the effects of media violence on aggressive behavior.
How do you make sense of this overwhelming body of research? What are the implications of this for you personally and for society more broadly?


There is the assumption that violence in the modern world is at a rate that is incompatible to olden times. This argument is supported with reference to the recent genocides in places like Darfur and Serbia and the ongoing war in Syria. However, when one thinks of the world war in the past century, use of atomic bombs to kill masses, the nuclear weapons during the cold war and the many instances people were killed for inconsequential crimes; there is a reason to believe that the rate of violence has generally declined. Some measures have been put in place to ensure this decline as Dr. Steven Pinker points out, although the media continues to indirectly promote this violent aggression.
Question One
The decline in violence in the modern age is best explained using the social motive of controlling. This is according to the views provided by Dr. Steven Pinker. It is evident that all efforts made to reduce violence are guided by the need to control people`s aggressive behaviors. For example, commerce is one such way through which violence has been controlled. Steven notes in his talk that with the advancements in technology, people can exchange goods and services all over the world. As these transactions are carried out, partnerships are formed causing people to view each other as being more valuable. In effect, this reduces the tendency to want others dead hence controlling aggressive behavior. Increased literacy levels, proper means of communication and the mass media have been influential forces in controlling violence. Through these two, people have now become more tolerant towards each other and have learnt to appreciate and even respect each other`s views (Steven 2007). The mass media has made it possible to interact with people who have been victims of violent behavior and through this, others in the society are sensitized on the evils of such acts. Consequently, this has led to a decrease in cases of violence as people learn how to control their aggressive behaviors by looking at the effects of the same on others. The modern times have also seen the rise of the judiciary as the only government that can allow for the use of force in case of certain criminal offenses. Unlike the past century where intolerance was rife and people got death penalties for even the tiniest of offenses, much has changed with the judiciary. By giving the judiciary the monopoly to use force in a legal way, violence has declined significantly since people think twice before taking the law into their own hands to execute revenge or attack others. The law is there to protect society against such aggressive people thus explaining the decline. Moreover, efforts have made to ensure that women are respected and their interest s taken into consideration through feminization. This move has helped to control the tendency to abuse and take advantage of women.
Question Two
It is true that there are some instances in modern society when violence became prevalent. Examples include the genocide in Darfur, the rise in case of suicide bombers, the war in Syria and many others. Based on such happens

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