STUDENT: FRANCESCO LA SPADARansford and Slutkin (2017, p. 6) believe that the reasons leading to violence can be identified through the use of scientifically grounded understandings.
This essay will argue that some people are more violent than others because of factors like frustration and anger, exposure to violence in juvenile age and low intelligence.
Various points such as social structure, parental education, attitude to violence transmitted through modeling and also inadequate education will be examined throughout the essay.
One argument put forward as a cause of creating violence is the emotional state, with specific reference to frustration and anger. In connection with this, Savage and Wozniak (2016, cited in Savage, Ferguson and Flores, 2017, p.2) discuss how negative emotions are strictly connected to aggressive behaviours.
More to the point, frustration and anger are caused by issues such as social diversity leading to discrimination of the lower class and inequality in terms of civil rights. Studies carried out by Palmer (1960) and even before Porterfield (1952) show that the homicide rate relating to the lower class is higher than in the upper class. For example, Porterfield found that the average homicide rate in the lower class was almost 4 times bigger than in the upper one. (cited in Coser, 1963, pp. 72-73).
When a new awareness was spreading throughout the lower classes, the one of being discriminated by not having the same rights, disappointed was added to frustration and anger and this explains the fact that a higher percentage of mass violence, that still carries on in the modern American history, mainly consisted of low status. (Coser, 1963, p. 83)
What we saw up till now about the lower class is predominantly regarding the adult age, whereas what caused frustration and anger in the younger age is more likely either driven by parental severity and low academic achievement.
In fact, Bronfenbrenner (1958, cited in Coser, 1963, p. 77) found that the working-class parents, in contrast to the middle-class parents internalized control techniques, operated physical punishment.
Finally, low academic achievements tend to lead to negative emotions and Thornberry argued about the link between low grades and delinquency. (Savage, Ferguson, Flores, 2017, p.2)
Exposure to violence plays also an important role in terms of violence. The latter is “transmitted through social learning or modeling.” (Ransford and Slutkin, 2017, p. 6).
Moreover, Iacoboni (2009; 2005, cited in Ransford and Slutkin, 2017) observed the activation of the mirror neurons when these situations are actually happening.
But the exposure to violence does not necessarily lead to becoming so. Age is, therefore, a determining factor as a result of a superior sensitivity of the juvenile age to emulate certain behaviours (Perry, 1995, cited in Ransford and Slutkin, 2017).
Then, violence becomes contagious such as infectious diseases and is processed by subconscious mechanisms leveraging the continuous learning process from children and adolescents. They, in fact, do not actually see the wrong in the violence by growing in a certain type of environment where roughness is habitual, believing violent actions are justified. (Ransford and Slutkin, 2017)
The inadequacy of education can also have an effect on building a violent attitude.
Low academic achievement reflects low performance and then low intelligence, which could also be associated to language issues as well as a struggle in solving problematic situations, making these people think of violence as the only option to pull him through those situations. (Stadler, Becker, Godker, Leutner and Greiff, 2015, cited in Savage, Ferguson and Flores, 2017)
This argument is backed up by the predominant presence of the unschooled people within the violent mass actively participating in revolutionary events or revolts. (Coser, 1963, p. 83)
According to the “theory of my mind”, low intelligence, in addition, tends to be correlated to a lack of empathy, which means being able to understand the emotional state and/or the reaction of the other person. (Ibanez et al., 2013; Qualter, Barlow and Stylianou, 2011, cited in Savage, Ferguson, Flores, 2017)
Savage and Wozniak compared violence to nonviolence showing that the students inclined to violent attitudes had lower scores in terms of academic achievement. (2016, cited in Savage, Ferguson and Flores, 2017)
Drawing conclusions to these statistics, it has been shown that there is also a connection between intelligence quotient and violence.
In conclusion, the main factors that cause some people to be more violent than others are the following: frustration and anger, exposure to violence and low intelligence.
In terms of frustration and anger, it has been said that negative emotions are a big component causing aggressive behaviour (Savage, Ferguson and Flores, 2017). Also, different social structure showing inequality for the lower classes and low academic achievement, as well as parental severity, lead to feeling frustration and anger and so to violent behaviours (Coser, 1963).
It has also been seen how someone exposed to violence may become violent, but in term of exposure, the age plays a determining role (Ransford and Slutkin, 2017).
Therefore, low intelligence also leads to violence because of the struggle in terms of solving problematic situations (Savage, Ferguson and Flores, 2017).
One point in order to treat violence is building more care centers helping the patient to cope with trauma if exposed to violence in the past.
Violence, however, is a problem needed to be understood at the root. Schools need to have better security measures and exemplary consequences in terms in order to learn how to act by following the laws and respecting the others.
Word count: 904
Coser, L. A., 1963. Violence and the social structure. Science and Psychoanalysis, 6, 30-42
Ransford, C. and Slutkin, G., 2017. Seeing and treating violence as a health issue. In: Know violence in childhood. Ending violence in childhood global report 2017. New Delhi, India.
Savage, J., Ferguson, C. J. and Flores, L., 2017. The effect of academic achievement on aggression and violent behavior: A meta-analysis. Aggression and violent behavior, online Available at: <http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.avb.2017.08.002> Accessed 02 November 2018.