Social psychology and dating
One reason that people may use nonphysical rather than physical aggression is that it is more subtle. The effects of bullying on the personal well-being and educational progress of secondary aged students. When we use these techniques, we may be able to better get away with it—we can be aggressive without appearing to others to be aggressing. A bully who hits a child and steals her toys, a terrorist who kills civilians to gain political exposure, and a hired assassin are all good examples of instrumental aggression.Sometimes it is hard to distinguish between instrumental and emotional aggression, and yet it is important to try to do so.Although the negative outcomes of physical aggression are perhaps more obvious, nonphysical aggression also has costs to the victim. Craig (1998) found that children who were victims of bullying showed more depression, loneliness, peer rejection, and anxiety in comparison to other children.
For instance, a rugby player who accidentally breaks the arm of another player or a driver who accidentally hits a pedestrian would not by our definition be displaying aggression because although harm was done, there was no intent to harm.A salesperson who attempts to make a sale through repeated phone calls is not aggressive because he is not intending any harm (we might say this behavior is “assertive” rather than aggressive).And not all intentional behaviors that hurt others are aggressive behaviors.In Great Britain, 20% of adolescents report being bullied by someone spreading hurtful rumors about them (Sharp, 1995). Girls who are victims of nonphysical aggression have been found to be more likely to engage in harmful behaviors such as smoking or considering suicide (Olafsen & Viemero, 2000).
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A dentist might intentionally give a patient a painful injection of a painkiller, but the goal is to prevent further pain during the procedure. government perceives the development of a nuclear weapon by Iran as aggressive because the government believes that the weapon is intended to harm others, but Iranians may see the program as a matter of national pride.