By Carolyn Zahn-Waxler, E. Mark Cummings, Ronald J. Iannotti

ISBN-10: 0511752830

ISBN-13: 9780511752834

ISBN-10: 0521268346

ISBN-13: 9780521268349

ISBN-10: 0521423678

ISBN-13: 9780521423670

During this well timed assortment, organic and behavioral scientists tackle questions rising from new learn in regards to the origins and interconnections of altruism and aggression inside of and throughout species. They discover the genetic underpinnings of affiliative and competitive orientations in addition to the organic correlates of those behaviors. they think about environmental variables--family styles, childrearing practices--that effect prosocial and delinquent behaviors. they usually research inner approaches corresponding to empathy, socio-inferential talents, and cognitive attributions, that control "kindness" and "selfishness." the 1st part specializes in organic, sociobiological, and ethological ways. It explores the application of animal types for realizing either human and infrahuman social habit. the second one part makes a speciality of the advance, socialization, and mediation of altruism and aggression in little ones. numerous matters underly either sections. those contain the function of attachment techniques, separation misery, reciprocal interchanges, and social play in settling on the volume and caliber of competitive and affiliative interactions; the functionality of feelings (e.g. empathy, guilt, and anger) as instigators of altruism and aggression; and the character of intercourse ameliorations. a number of chapters current information on feelings that mediate altruism and aggression and in addition on styles of organization among prosocial and delinquent behaviors. The authors take an ethological standpoint, putting distinct value at the have to discover altruism and aggression within the genuine lives and usual habitats of people and different animals.

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Extra resources for Altruism and Aggression: Social and Biological Origins

Example text

Although this approach is surely different from the sociobiological perspective on altruism, it is also an essential step onto the quicksilver path of truth. All mammalian helping behaviors may ultimately arise from the nurturant dictates of brain systems that mediate social bonding and maternal care. The distress of separation and the satisfactions of maternal nurturance may be the emotional poles between which the stream of altruistic intent flows; we shall have a substantive sociobiology of human and animal behavior when the physiological mechanisms governing such processes have been more fully deciphered.

Because play has to be generated by distinct brain activities, a lasting definition would specify the locations and properties of the circuits instigating the behavior universally recognized as play. Accordingly, play would come to be scientifically defined with respect to concrete brain processes that generate the myriad behaviors traditionally subsumed by the concept. Although we are still unable even to approximate a neurobiological definition, I would postulate that the neural substructure has an executive command component that has wide ramifications in the brain (similar in design, perhaps, to those that instigate major emotions (Panksepp, 1982) and that probably has access to the multitude of pattern generators for various emotive behaviors.

The logic is straightforward: The loss of social support precipitates a decrease in brain opioid activity, yielding withdrawal symptoms, as emotive circuits that mediate loneliness-panic states are activated or disinhibited. Reestablishment of social contact may, among other neural changes, activate endogenous opioid systems, alleviating separation distress, and strengthening social bonds. In view of conclusive evidence that brain opioids inhibit emotions arising from social isolation, I predict that fluctuating activity in underlying emotive systems (see Panksepp, 1982) will prove a contributing factor in the emission of altruistic behaviors.

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Altruism and Aggression: Social and Biological Origins by Carolyn Zahn-Waxler, E. Mark Cummings, Ronald J. Iannotti


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