Deanna CanadaAlcohol and AggressionUmass BostonProfessor PattersonDecember 10, 2017 I. Introduction Throughout the year’s society has assumed that individuals behave more aggressively while under the influence of alcohol. Alcohol and aggression in adulthood have been examined in a variety of ways. It has been examined in dating, committed, family and marital relationships. These findings are all different depending on the relationship status examined. It has been noted that alcohol causes aggression in individuals. Alcohol has been found to have cognitive impairments such as narrowing the attention memory processes in an individual. In the two research articles below look at a co-occurrence of alcohol and violent crimes.
II. Article One The first article is called Alcohol and Aggression: A Meta-Analysis on the Moderating Effects of Inhibitory Cues, Triggering Events, and Self-Focused Attention by Tiffany A. Ito, Norman Miller, and Vicki E. Pollock at the University of Southern California. Researches predicted that the difference in aggression between sober and intoxicated participants would decrease as the intensity of provocation increased, that provocation and frustration will have similar directions of influence on the difference in aggression between sober and intoxicated participants, and finally that frustration will be related to alcohol-potentiated aggression in the same manner as the provocation.
In this research article researchers used three methods to locate studies for the meta-analysis. The three differs databases used was PsycInfo, Medline, and Current Contents. “Databases were searched through May 1994 using the keywords alcohol, intoxication, and ethanol, cross-referenced with aggression, antisocial behavior, anger, and attack,” (Ito, T. A., Miller, N., & Pollock, V. E. (1996)).
In order to be concluded into this research article, the studies had to be published in a journal, they had to have a least one measurement of aggression, and it also had to be a published report of data. These studies had to compare one experimental condition where there was no alcohol consumed by a participant. “This comparison condition could be a placebo condition (participants expect to consume alcohol but actually receive a nonalcoholic beverage), a control condition (participants both expect and receive a nonalcoholic beverage), or a condition in which no drink was consumed. Although it could be informative to analyze effect sizes separately as a function of the type of control group used, two considerations argue against doing so,” (Ito, T.
A., Miller, N., & Pollock, V. E. (1996)). There were a total of forty-nine studies that qualified within these criteria. The dates used for the studies were from April 1972 to August 1994.
The researchers conducted the articles into five theoretical variables. These variables are anxiety, inhibition conflict, provocation, frustration, and self-focused attention. Each of the studies had two judges which judged on a nine-point scale.
“In total, the judges made 77 ratings of anxiety, 54 ratings of inhibition conflict, 91 ratings of provocation, and 74 ratings of frustration,” (Ito, T. A., Miller, N., & Pollock, V. E. (1996)). This research article resulted that alcohol does increase aggression, however, the dose of alcohol consumed can be related to the intensity of the aggression (Ito, T. A.
, Miller, N., & Pollock, V. E. (1996)). “In closing, we emphasize that although this meta-analysis confirms the causal role of alcohol in increasing aggression, we do not view aggression as an inevitable consequence of intoxication,” (Ito, T.
A., Miller, N., & Pollock, V. E.
(1996)). I believe that this conclusion of the study contradicts itself because they are saying that alcohol does increase aggression but it is not viewed as a consequence of intoxication. Behavioral changes that occur after drinking alcohol may be directed to the pharmacological effects of alcohol but there is no clear understanding of the specific mechanism of the cause of alcohol-aggression.
Alcohol has been observed to cause many forms of cognitive impairments. Intoxication appears to narrow attention memory processes, and diminish the ability to engage in abstract thinking. The different forms of cognitive impairments could be a factor to cause aggressive behavior. Anxiety was also a factor in alcohol-aggression.
Increased-aggression of intoxicated participants might be due to their decreased sensitivity to anxiety-provoking situational cues, which in a sober participant would cause aggression. “Specifically, the aggressive behavior of intoxicated participants is expected to most greatly exceed that of sober ones as the intensity of anxiety-provoking cues increases. We tested this with a regression analysis. To account for the effects of alcohol dose, we entered dose into the analysis with the anxiety ratings,” (Ito, T. A., Miller, N.
, & Pollock, V. E. (1996)). To accurately text whether the influence of anxiety-provoking cues differs as a function of dose, the researches regressed anxiety into effect size separately for studies in the high and low dose subsets. III. Article TwoThis article is called Effects of Alcohol on Human Aggression: An Integrative Research Review by Brad J. Bushman and Harris M.
Cooper at the University of Missouri – Columbia. Researchers predicted that alcohol causes aggression directly by anesthetizing the center of the brain that normally prevents aggressive responding. In this research article, the researchers Baron and Buss divide aggressive acts into three types of aggression measures. Those measures being verbal-active-direct, verbal-active indirect, and physical-active-direct.
Verbal aggression is when an individual is being direct to the victim when they are present. It is measured by vocal comments to one or more individuals. “Direct physical aggression is generally measured by means of a teacher-learner task (Buss, 1961), a reaction-time task (Taylor, 1967), or a variation of one of these two procedures,” (Bushman, B.J.). The article talks about the direct cause and indirect cause of alcohol on aggression. The direct cause says that alcohol causes aggression directly by anesthetizing the center of the brain. This then will prevent aggressive from responding (Bushman, B.
J.). The indirect cause says that alcohol indirectly causes certain cognitive, physiological, and emotional changes within aggression (Bushman, B.J.). Researchers used main meta-analysis of 30 different studies to conclude a study.
The studies included between subject designs, male confederates, and male subjects who said they were only social drinkers (Bushman, B.J.). All of the individuals included in the studies had 20 or less drinks a week (Bushman, B.J.
). The results from all the different studies did concluded that alcohol causes aggressive behavior (Bushman, B.J.). “Alcohol also appears to influence aggressive behavior as much or more than it influences other social and nonsocial behaviors (Hull & Bond, 1986; Steele & Southwick, 1985),” (Bushman, B.J.
). IV. Conclusion Alcohol has been compared to aggression over a number of studies. Throughout the two articles reviewed above, it has been concluded that alcohol does have an effect on one’s aggressive behavior. Alcohol has been found to have cognitive impairments such as narrowing the attention memory processes in an individual. It has also been found that the different amounts of alcohol and individual consumes has an effect on an individual’s type of aggression.
Work CitedBushman, B. J. (2002). Effects of Alcohol on Human Aggression. Recent Developments in Alcoholism, 227-243.
doi:10.1007/0-306-47141-8_13Ito, T. A.
, Miller, N., & Pollock, V. E. (1996). Alcohol and aggression: A meta-analysis on the moderating effects of inhibitory cues, triggering events, and self-focused attention.
Psychological Bulletin, 120(1), 60-82. doi:10.1037//0033-2909.120.1.60