The Triggering Dynamics of Aggression and Violence – Research Paper

Chapter 1: Problem Statement

Statement of the Problem

In the past decade alone, violence and aggression have become prevalent in society with this plague affecting individual from diverse demographics. Warburton and Anderson (2015) contended that there naturally exists a powerful desire for aggression from a person’s instinctual endowment. As a result, it is common for them to become unfriendly and become susceptible to acts of wanton violence. The position stated earlier also aligns with that of Sønderlund et al., (2014), who showed that the level of destructiveness differs significantly amongst individuals and groups in different social contexts. However, while the literature reveals the causal effects of aggression and violence, the extrinsic and intrinsic causes of these issues are not analyzed in depth to identify the primary triggering dynamics of aggressive and violent behavior in the community.  The rationale of this study is to bring to light the triggering dynamics of aggression and violence with the focus on domestic violence amongst young African-American married couples.

Purpose and Significance of the Study

The intention of this research proposal is to assess aggression and violence, with the focus on the fundamental triggering dynamics that have been ignored for a long time. Moreover, in a world where attention is not given to victims of aggression and violence (such as those who experience domestic violence), this study seeks to uncover the realities of aggression and violence by evaluating the causative agents. Warburton and Anderson (2015) reveal that most of the preliminary studies in social psychology about harmful and destructive behavior are anchored in aggression with no particular research that focuses on violence and its adverse causal effects. In this regard, conducting the study on both aggression and violence, while focusing on young African American couples, would go a long way in realizing the fundamental aspects that trigger the behavior. It is important to note that there are parallel issues in social psychology that are surrounded by numerous complexities, especially when it comes to identifying their primary causes, the more reason why this study is vital. Tedeschi’s (2003), on the other hand, opines that the factors that instigate aggressive behavior are also assumed to influence violent behavior. It is with such a precedent that this study will critically evaluate the causal aspects of violence and aggression amongst young African-American married couples, and consequently further add to the existing psychological knowledge base.

Research Design

This quantitative study will employ a descriptive research design anchored on depicting the behavior of the sample group accurately to identify and validate the hypothesized primary causes of aggression and violence. Close interaction will be necessary to ensure that the subjects are initially aware of the study’s intentions beforehand. About the position held by Clause (2014), this factor will be achieved through conducting a survey of different forms; from face to face interviews to handing out questionnaires to be filled by the sample group. Furthermore, the use of open coding in dividing data collected from different segments will ensure that it is sifted at a later date. Transcriptions of the interviews will be scanned, for cross-analysis purposes, thus enabling the gathering of any reoccurring terms among the interviewees.

Ethical Considerations

The study will adhere to the American Psychological Association (2010) Code of Ethics concerning the conduction of research to safeguard the safety and interests of the participants. Ideally, research participants must sign informed consent forms for them to participate in the research study. The researcher will inform the participants on matters concerning their rights, the research question(s) under examination, the research methodology and surveys put to use in the research study (Nishimura, Carey, Erwin, Tilburt, Murad, & McCormick, 2013). Moreover, the participants will not be under any form of coercion for them to take part in the proposed research study. They will have an option of withdrawing or refusing to participate at any given point. The research also upholds the confidentiality of the participants through ensuring that their private information is only privy to the coordinator of the program. Accordingly, upon accomplishment of the study, all participants will be issued with a copy of the final research inference to evaluate the findings and raise concerns if necessary.

Research Questions and Hypotheses

In light of the adverse causal effects of aggression and violence, the research questions are as follows:

  • Are extrinsic factors such as the media influence and its permissibility on the subject responsible for triggering aggressive and violent behavior in the community?
  • What is the relationship between intrinsic factors such as personality disorders or predisposed personality traits and aggression and violence?
  • Between extrinsic and intrinsic factors, which mark as the fundamental triggering dynamics of aggressive and violent behavior in the community?

Huesmann, Dubow, and Yang (2013) contend that numerous controversies revolve around the influence of media depicted violence in aggressive and violent behavior. However, as an external factor, the media appears to have a significant impact on people’s behaviors including destructive actions. On the other hand, In light of Kolla, Meyer, Bagby, and Brijmohan (2017) insights on predisposed personality traits, the relationship between personality disorders (intrinsic factors) and aggressive as well as violent behaviors in the community is also strikingly undeniable.

Assumptions

In light of the research design of this proposed research study, the participants will answer the interview questions honestly and openly. This postulation is anchored on insights by Baskerville and Wood-Harper (2016) on efficient research methods, which emphasizes the importance of objectivity in the utilization of structured methods of data collection. With the strict adherence to ethical considerations as directed by the American Psychological Association (2012) guidelines, the selected sample group will have a sincere interest in taking part in the study and will not have additional motives for getting good grades in their course. This assumption follows as selection of the sample group will be from high school and college students, as well as adults from a particular workplace setting. Consequently, the inclusion criteria of the sample will be appropriate in ensuring that the participants have all been through aggressive and violent situations.

Limitations

There may be possibilities of unknown factors or conditions at the various institutions where the participants work, study and reside that could pose grave threats in collecting objective responses from the participants. Such a myriad of factors may be responsible in one way or another or promoting acts of violence when couples are in their home. Mertens (2014) that has gone a long way in revealing the uncertainties that revolve around structured and semi-structured methods of data collection.

Operational Definitions

The use of violence and aggressions is sometimes interchangeable, further adding to the complexities of their comprehension and mitigation. In this research, violence will constitute the intentional use of force with the aim to injure another person or the destruction of property while aggression, in this context, will refer to the anger or violent feelings one feels before the actual action. Although expert address issues of violence and aggression in several preliminary psychological studies, the causal effects are often not termed into definitive factors. Moreover, each of these problems manifests themselves in numerous forms were under aggression there are; accidental, hostile, expressive and instrumental aggression while under violence there are, physical, sexual, emotional and stalking (Vassos, Collier & Fazel, 2014).

Expected Outcomes

This quantitative project expects to acquire the following factors by the end of the research;

  • Measuring the degree of impact of both extrinsic and intrinsic factors on aggressive and violent behavior in the community.
  • An in-depth analysis of factors that the study identifies as the primary causes of aggression and violence from various pieces of literature.
  • An identification of the leading causes from the identified extrinsic or intrinsic factors that can be adequately mitigated and controlled.
  • Publishing the quantitative study  of  the report

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