Social Psych | Aggression | Cultural Aggression | Prehistoric Aggression | Contemporary Aggression | Biology of Aggression Aggression in Animals | Aggression Sources

Prescriptions:


Invariably, just as with depression or short attention spans, people are want to discover some form of control over aggression. Short of biologically rewiring people, several strides have been taken in suppressing any aggressive urges that may arise and cloud one’s judgment, one of the most popular approaches being the use of drugs.
Credit: Wikimedia Commons
Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Several studies have been performed regarding children (primarily those afflicted with ADHD), and the most effective method found for treating aggression is a combination of stimulants and behavioral therapy. In a study performed by Dr. Joseph C. Blader of the Stony Brook University School of Medicine, a group of sixty-five children, between the ages of six and twelve, diagnosed with ADHD, were administered standard ADHD medication, methylphenidate and dextroamphetamine, which proved unsuccessful in decreasing the subjects’ aggressive tendencies. However, when the stimulants were coupled with behavioral therapy and individually adjusted to suit each child’s specific needs, around forty-nine percent of the group showed a significant decrease in aggression. (HealthDay, 2010)

Interestingly, before this study occurred it was common for patients exhibiting aggressive behavior or outbursts to be treated with antipsychotics (Haldol, Risperdal). However, in a 2008 study headed by British psychiatrist Dr. Peter J. Tyrer, these drugs were shown to be no more powerful than a placebo. [source?]

Education:


Different procedures other than medication have been approached in regards to eliminating, or at least stymieing aggression amongst young people, such as education and assertive awareness. For example, a study was conducted in Pakistan in 2009 by two university psychology professors on the effects of thoroughly educating young Arab representative of the demographics susceptible to join extremist organizations. Two groups were studied, one consisting of 144 university students and the other consisting of 92 such subjects. (Amjad, Wood) The first group was assessed to what degree they harbored anti-Semitic beliefs, and afterwards were approached by a confederate who asked if they wanted to join an extremist anti-Semitic organization. The results of the study on this group revealed that normative beliefs about aggression against Jews proved to be good indicators of whether or not someone would join an extremist organization. The second group was split further into two, a control group and experimental group. Both groups were assessed of their anti-Semitic beliefs before taking part in the experiment.
"Pakistani demonstrators" Image courtesy of 'Edge of Space' @ flickr.com
"Pakistani demonstrators" Image courtesy of 'Edge of Space' @ flickr.com

The control attended a normal lecture about behavioral therapy while the other attended an engaged group discussion in which the history of the victimization of Jews was assessed and discussed. Afterwards, both groups were asked to join the same kind of extremist anti-Semitic organization that the initial group was asked to. It was discovered that people who did NOT attend the victimization discussion were 5.29 times more likely to request information about the organization and 16.57 times more likely to actually join it. This gives some hope that aggression, discrimination, and religious bigotry can be gauged and properly handled through educating the ignorant and maintaining an open mindset.