Aggressive behavior can affect someone emotionally or physically, and it varies from physical to verbal assault. Standard and even normal are infrequent violent outbursts. When it succeeds in hurting others or becomes normal, offensive activity is a concern. One of the most important environmental variables influencing their personality is a human culture. Psychologists are interested in learning the role that society plays in character formation. Research has found that there are differences in the features of violence across multiple societies. Culture includes a distinct society’s rituals, attitudes, concepts, values, and practices which are transmitted down generations. Culture is transmitted to individuals through language and modeling of behavior, and some behaviors and traits are regarded as undesirable, desirable, or valuable. Different cultures vary in how and how much their members aggress against each other. For example, people of United States are more aggressive than those from Canada or New Zealand but not as aggressive as the people from Asia or Africa. When children enter a violent culture, they may be more socialized to be even more violent. Research has found that the children who had been born in aggressive cultures were more accepting the culture than the children who had emigrated from less aggressive culture, particularly if they migrated at the age of eleven. Therefore, we cannot conclude that aggression is innate because even if it is a universal behavior, it is not part of our biological nature. Also, even in peaceful culture, it’s hard to reconcile that human aggression is innate with the fact that most people around appear calm.
Social identity is the portion of a person’s self-concept derived from perceived membership in a significant social group. Social identity theory is used to predict certain intergroup behaviors from perceived legitimacy, group status differences, ability to change from one group to another, and stability of status differences. The disadvantage of the theory is that it has been used as a general theory of social categorization. Also, it is limited in scope. Ethnocentrism is arbitrating another culture based on the standards and values of individual’s culture. The pros of using ethnocentrism to identify an individual are that it drives persons to have a strong national pride and allows people to keep old traditions and practices alive. The cons are that it drives people to make false assumptions concerning cultural differences and creates a culture that is blinded by its self-righteousness. Another component of social identity is in-group bias. In-group bias is a pattern of preferring members of a particular group over members of another group. The advantage of in-group is to improve the self-esteem of the preferred group, also helps in self-enhancement (Aronson, Elliot; Wilson, Timothy, Akert, Robin, Sommers, Samuel, 2016). The disadvantage is that conflict may arise among the members of the in-group and out-group. The out-group homogeneity is a perception of out-group members to be similar to one another than in-group members. The pros include being able to live a private life that applies to celebrities. The cons of the out-group homogeneity are that the members are unable to have same privileges as everyone else.
Prejudice is an emotional feeling towards a group member or a person based on their group membership. The components of prejudice include affective, cognitive, stereotype, and behavioral. Cognitive Prejudice refers to what people believe is right for example, adherence to a particular methodological philosophy to the exclusion of other opinions which can offer a full theoretical explanation. On the other hand, a stereotype is a false identity concept that rules a strong emotional feeling of approval or disapproval of an individual. The nature of stereotypes involves different members of society interacting to develop certain attitudes, mental pictures, and idea towards each other. The view and ideas developed are used for social identification. Notably, the behavioral component of prejudice can lead to violence in most severe form especially that involve efforts to destroy a racial, religious group, or a national.
Aronson, Elliot; Wilson, Timothy D.; Akert, Robin M.; Sommers, Samuel R. (2016). Social Psychology. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education, Inc.