Archive for category Blog Entry 9
We have all been there. We are going to meet the parents of someone we are currently dating. Its a nervous time because we want to give a good first impression and dont want to do anything stupid or embarressing. For most of us the hype is far greater than reality and it goes smoothly because we just play into a social script. A social script is a culturally provided mental instructions for how to act in various situations. We know how to pass the meet the parents test and we stick to basics to just get through and not risk it.
Passing the test doesn’t go perfectly smooth for everyone though. In this clip from the TV show Friends Phoebe is going over to meet mikes parents and throughout she is trying very hard to follow the social script she thinks she needs too to impress Mike parents. It goes okay (subtitles in foreign language)
Phoebe struggles to keep with the social script. Her efforts at the start though when she just arrives is a perfect example of a social script. What she wears and how she acts is nothing like she does throughout the show but she changes what she does to try and follow what she thinks is needed in that situation. May we all learn from phoebe and see that we dont always have to follow a social script.
“Hey, don’t take it out on me” is a phrase I’m sure we hear quite often. Something I wasn’t aware of (and shouldn’t be surprised about either) is that the act of “taking it out on someone” actually has a name. Displacement is when you redirect your anger or frustration to someone or something other than the cause of your anger. If I screw up a test and then go home and yell at my roommates, that’s an example of displacement. If you get yelled at by your boss and then on your drive home you in turn yell at every driver on the road, that is also called displacement. Instead of ripping up the test or writing the test-writer an angry email or yelling back at your boss, you direct your anger at something that is more socially acceptable…well, most of the time.
The best example of this I could think of is from the movie “It’s A Wonderful Life.” The main character, George Bailey, is frustrated at SO many things in his life that are going wrong. Earlier that day his uncle lost $5,000 from their business that he was supposed to deposit, and George found out he could lose his job and potentially go to jail…losing his home, family, and reputation as well. So what does he do? He goes home and yells at his children. They were not the source of his anger, but he has displaced his frustration and that is why he yells.
That scene doesn’t quite make it to the part where he really YELLS at his kids, but you can definitely see that he is starting to take his frustration out on them. Sometimes it is hard for us to not displace our anger… and sometimes displacing our anger to someone or something other than the true cause is more socially acceptable. That’s why we do it.
We just need to be careful when we do.
To quote a show I’ve seen only 2 or 3 episodes of, it seems today that all you see is violence in movies and sex on TV. In the Book of Mormon the two dissident brothers of Nephi are described as past feeling, because they didn’t listen to what they knew to be right. Eventually they were unable to understand right from wrong. I’m to the opinion that violent video games and movies are not all bad. It is bad when paired with an immoral premise, causing desensitization to the moral. Like the book says, the emotional response will “extinguish.” But I do not think that that is always the end outcome.
Here’s two experiences from my life. First is from the movie Gladiator. While not comparatively violent when put in the context of other war movies, there are some pretty intense action sequences where people are decapitated, delimbed, or impaled. Yikes! If you haven’t seen this movie and don’t want it ruined then get out of here. Anyway, Maximus in the end is fighting to give Rome back her freedom, and to return to be with his family. I’ll get back to this later. Another time I was at an internet cafe in Romania, and next to me was a child, probably 8 or 9, playing Grand Theft Auto. I remember looking at the game and watching as the kid’s character pulled an innocent woman from her car and shot her in the head, driving away with the car. He didn’t blink.
Now in both of these examples I witnessed simulated violence, but the 2nd instance had a completely different effect on me than the first. Gladiator used it as a tool to promote a moral, and to set up the story to make me cry like a little girl when Maximus is reunited with his deceased wife and boy. The second example of the little boy and Grand Theft Auto was pure immoral desensitization to the value of human life. I had seen this game played before, but watching this child callously shoot someone, virtual or not, it got to me. I think media violence can be used as a tool to enrich if used correctly, but when it is meaningless or without moral premise, it has no place.
Instinctive behavior is a behavior that is exhibited by all members of a species, without being learned.
An example of instinctive behavior can be seen in rats. My sisters have had ten pet rats over the last 8 years and every single rat reacted the same way to a loud noise; they all froze. Every one of the rats had the instinct to freeze when startled, a behavior that is instinctual to every member of their species.
This is example portrays instinctive behavior because the behavior of freezing in reaction to being startled is exhibited by all members of the rat species, without their learning it.
The book introduces us to two general types of aggression, hostile and instrumental. My blog post today is about hostile aggression, an aggression which is not used as a means to an end but used purely to hurt.
The cause for hostile aggression is often frustration. Though hostile aggression will not help to solve problems, many people will still resort to it in times of stress or frustration as a way to ‘blow off steam’, even though this has actually been shown to prolong frustration and aggression.
In this scene from Zombieland, these characters have spent many days traveling through zombie invested America, and are weary and stressed out. As they have no way to solve their problems, they turn to hostile aggression in frustration. They take out this frustration on an entire store of Indian Crafts.
Hostile aggression is behavior intended to hurt someone for the sole purpose of hurting them.
My sister displays hostile aggression towards my little sister. On my little sister’s prom night, my older sister told her that her dress looked “super ghetto” and that it looked like she got it for a few dollars.
These comments display hostile aggression because my older sister does not gain anything from making my other sister feel bad. She knows that the things she says can be hurtful, but that’s her intent.
Hostile Aggression: Hostile aggression is physical or verbal behavior stemming from anger meant to harm another.
This scene from She’s the Man represents hostile aggression. Not only did Olivia represent the verbal side of hostile aggression when she made fun of Monique for getting dumped in the pizza parlor, but it represents physical hostile aggression when they start fighting. Their fighting stems from their similar feelings for Sebastian. They desire fight with no other purpose but harming each other.