Biochemical Sociology: Correlates of Aggression

By Snell, Joel; Marsh, Mitchell | Journal of Instructional Psychology, March 2005 | Go to article overview

Biochemical Sociology: Correlates of Aggression


Snell, Joel, Marsh, Mitchell, Journal of Instructional Psychology


The authors review numerous correlates of aggression from the perspective of sociology, psychology, and the biochemical. They introduce to the reader the field of biochemical sociology.

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Biochemical sociology is a new field. It relates to how relationships impact upon the biochemical. In this study, we will outline all the variables that relate to aggression, and then summarize where sociological variables interplay with biochemicals that facilitate aggression.

Disclaimer:

A few caveats must be made, before this literature review commences. They are:

1. Aggression is loosely defined for this article as "untoward behavior". Thus, the authors can aggregate numerous definitions under one common rubric.

2. Sampling is suspect in many of these studies, Some contain purposive samples, and others contain random samples.

3. Subjects vary from mice, hamsters. and monkeys to humans. We do not assume "species equivalence" but others do and we want those studies to be included.

4. Sex is not clear. In many studies, males of all kinds of creatures are measured, and their behavior is extrapolated onto females which may be incorrect or females are excluded because it is thought that their behavior is always assumed to be different, however, indirect aggression by females may be overlooked by male researchers.

5. Prison populations, mentally ill and other special demographics are collapsed with "normal populations". We do not assume that they are all equivalent, but others may do so, and so they are reviewed.

6. Research designs are inconsistent. Some use observational, experimental, double blind, cross-sectional and other strategies (panel and longitudinal). This antagonizes the saliency of some of the findings.

7. Statistical analyses range from descriptive numbers, relative numbers, and goodness of fit tests, multiple regression and epidemiological analysis. All are incorporated in this article.

8. Ratio and hard number assumptions are applied in some studies and this may confound studies that have ordinal properties at best.

9. We use numeric footnotes for parsimony; however, the bibliography is organized alphabetically and in APA form. Thus, we begin.

Biochemical

The following appear to increase or are correlated with increased aggression.

1. Testosterone is correlated with but mediated by environmental variables in these studies on aggression (Archer, 1991) (Constantino, 1998) (Mazur, et. al., 1992) (Mealy, 1998) (Mestel, 1993) (Pietrini, 2001) (Sileo, 1994) (Scott, 1998) (Sylvester, 1997).

2. Maleness is associated with aggression (Archer, 1991)(Campbell, 1999) (Manoguerra, 2000) (Mestel, 1993) (Sylvester, 1997). Females appear to be more assertive and or aggressive in hyenas and in matriarchal cultures (Sileo, 1994) (Sylvester, 1997).

3. The following biochemicals and physiological dysfunctions are correlated with aggression. They are: low nitric oxide (Associated Press, 1996) (Barchas, 1996) (White, 1998), low cholesterol (Bennet, 1990) (Guggenheim, 1995) (Mestel, 1993) (Stanley, 2000), low serotonin (Bruner, 1993) (Chen, 1994) (Stanley, 2000) (Stanley, 2000) (Stein, 2002) (Wells, 2000), decreased angine vasopressin, decreased MAO-A's (Casas, 1995) (Gianutos, 1977) (Ogawa, 1999) (Szpir, 1998), anabolic steroids (Shih, 1999). increased ER-beta (Oliveri, 1998), ER-alpha (Ogawa, 1999), dysfunctional amagdyla (Szczpka, 1998) (Wilson, 2001), stress induced damage to frontal lobes (Royalty, 1990) (Wilson, 2001), low COMT (Goldberg, 1995) (Largerspetz, 1999), low enkephalins (Lachman, 1998) low cortisol (Decaire, 1999), substance P (DeFlipe, 1998) and P-choloramphetamine (Gianutos, 1975).

External Chemicals

The following when ingested by subjects appear to increase or correlate with aggression: ethanol (Sapolosky, 1990), methamphetamine (Martin, 2000), alcohol (Graham, 1996), long-term cocaine use, long-term marijuana use, lead (Spitz, 1994), increased apomorphine (Gogos, 1998), decreased fluoxetine (Carraco, 1998) and caffeine. …

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