Aggression and Emotional Intelligence

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It is a word which we use almost every day to characterize the behavior of other people and sometimes even for ourselves. Aggression is a range of behaviors that is intended to harm another individual who does not wish to be harmed. This definition includes three features.

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Aggression is how you respond or behave and you can see it in a persons behavior. For example- you can see a person hitting, slapping, shooting and cursing someone. It is not an emotion that is taking place inside a person, such as feeling angry. Second feature is that it is intentional not accidental, such as a player accidentally broke leg of another player, it was not showing aggression. Although harm was happened but there was no intent to harm. In addition to that, not all intentional behavior that hurt other persons are aggressive behavior la dentist might intentionally give a patient a shot of novocaine (and the shot hurts), but the goal is to help rather than hurt the patient. Third, the victim doesnt want to get harmed. Aggression can harm the other person as well as yourself physically, mentally or psychologically.

FACTORS THAT LEADS TO AGGRESSION

1) CHEMICAL INFLUENCES – Testosterone- This is a male sex hormone which is found in both males and females, but males have more amount of it. Thats the reason why males are more aggressive. High level of testosterone can increase the aggressive behavior. Reduction in level of testosterone even through castration reduces aggressive behavior.- Serotonin- In the brain, information is communicated between neurons (nerve cells) by the movement of chemicals across a small gap called the synapse. The chemical messengers are called neurotransmitters. Serotonin is one of those neurotransmitter which has been called the feel good neurotransmitter. Low level of serotonin reduces the aggressive behavior in both humans and animals. For example- violent criminals have deficit of serotonin- Alcohol- Alcohol is associated with aggressive and violent behavior. Half of the crimes are committed by individual who are intoxicated. Alcohol doesnt causes, it increases violent and aggressive tendencies.- Cortisol- It is the human stress hormone. Aggressive people having low cortisol level experience low level of stress because of it they do not have fear of the consequences of their behavior. So, they are more likely to get engaged in aggressive behavior.

2) AGGRESSIVE CUES – Weapons- seeing a weapon and mere presence of a weapon increases aggression, it is an effect which is called weapons effect.- Violent media- In media, including television programs, films and video games, violence is a common theme. It is found in studies that violent media increases aggression. Not everyone who sees violent media becomes aggressive, and not everyone who is aggressive sees violent media. Media violence is not the only factor that causes aggression, but it is an important factor.

3) PSYCHOSOCIAL FACTORS Drive/Psychological frustrations- When people are blocked from achieving their goals it leads to frustration which can consequently lead to aggression. It is an expression to the frustration of a goal oriented behavior by an outside source. Such goals include basic requirements like food, shelter, food, water, sex, love or recognition. Individuals stuck in negative situations where they only see negativity feel threatened and as a result respond in aggressive manners. Therefore, aggressive manner in this case is a result of a reaction to a situation in which an individual is in.- Social learning- People may acquire aggressive behaviors through experience or observational learning processes. This provides guidelines for describing beliefs as well as expectations that channel social behaviors.

The social influences such as role models, reinforcements and situational factors contribute to expression of aggressive behaviors. Children learn to be aggressive when they observe violence in mass media and therefore learn aggressive scripts. Moreover, observation of violence in the family may result to aggressive behaviors in children (Anderson & Bushman, 2002).- Deindividuation- When people are in large groups or crowds, they tend to lose a sense of their individuality or self-awareness. They instead take the identity of the group in which they are in and as a result stop thinking as an individual and instead think as a group. This leads to committing acts of aggression and violence that they would normally not do when they are alone. They do not take responsibility for their aggressive acts since they have lost their individual sense that others are aware of them and also their own sense and thus not being aware of their thoughts or actions (British Broadcasting Corporation, 2003).

EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE:Emotional Intelligence refers to the capability to identify, manage and control ones own emotions as well as of others. This term was first appeared in English literature was in an unpublished doctoral dissertation by Payne in 1986 (Matthews, et al., 2002). Since then, it has captured the interest of both press (e.g. Goleman, 1995; Cooper&Sawaf, 1997; Hein, 1997; Stiener, 1997; Wessinger, 1998) and of scientific researchers (e.g. Davis et al. 1998; Mayer, Caruso and Salovey, 2000; Petrides and Furnham, 2001, 2002).

COMPONENTS OF EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE

According to Daniel Goleman, there are five key elements of emotional intelligence:

1) Self-awareness- It the ability to recognize and understand your own emotions, is a critical part of emotional intelligence. Not only recognizing your emotions, it is being aware of the effect of your own actions, moods, and emotions of other people. Person who possess this self-awareness have a good sense of humor, are confident in themselves and their abilities, and are aware of how other people perceive them.

2) Self-regulation- It is all about expressing your emotions appropriately. Those who are skilled in self-regulation tend to be flexible and adapt well to change. They are also good at managing conflict and diffusing tense or difficult situations. Goleman suggests that those with strong self-regulation skills are high in conscientiousness. They are thoughtful of how they influence others and take responsibility for their own actions.

3) Empathy- It is the ability to understand how others are feeling, is absolutely critical to emotional intelligence. But this involves more than just being able to recognize the emotional states of others. It also involves your responses to people based on this information. An empathetic person has compassion and is able to connect with other people on an emotional level, helping them respond genuinely to other people’s concerns.

4) Motivation- Intrinsic motivation also plays a key role in emotional intelligence. People who are emotionally intelligent are motivated by things beyond mere external rewards like fame, money, recognition, and a claim. Instead, they have a passion to fulfill their own inner needs and goals. They seek things that lead to internal rewards, experience flow from being totally in tune with an activity, and pursue peak experiences.

5) Social Skills- To interact well with others is another important aspect of emotional intelligence. True emotional understanding in People who are emotionally intelligent are able to build trust with other people, and are able to quickly gain respect from the people they meet. People who are emotionally intelligent are able to build trust with other people, and are able to quickly gain respect from the people they meet.

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