The neurobiology of aggression

Looking underneath the hood

Authored by: C. Nathan DeWall , David S. Chester

The Routledge International Handbook of Biosocial Criminology

Print publication date:  December  2014
Online publication date:  December  2014

Print ISBN: 9780415722131
eBook ISBN: 9781315858449
Adobe ISBN: 9781317936749


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People become embroiled in conflict for many reasons. They might take a whiff of foul odors, perspire from high temperatures, or receive a damaging insult. All of these experiences can increase aggression. But they do not cause aggression among all people—and they fail to clarify why people behave aggressively. To understand why people behave aggressively, researchers may consider neurobiological processes that underlie aggression. Just as an auto mechanic will look underneath the hood to understand why a car sputters instead of drives smoothly, understanding the neurobiological mechanisms behind aggression can aid in predicting and preventing aggression.

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