Psychological Self-Help

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Many prisoners have mental illness or psychiatric problems and get little or no
treatment. Each year in prison costs the public on average about $35,000, in other
words about $115 from every adult and child in the state. The cost I mention doesn’t
include the loss of productivity at work and for the family. We could send an inmate
to college for about half as much!
Society doesn’t try prevention
Violence comes in many forms and in many situations. On the extreme end of the
scale, there are mass murderers, serial killers, terrorism, wars, rape and sexual
violence, domestic violence, parent-child or sibling violence, violence by psychotics
and people with antisocial personality disorders, child physical and sexual abuse, and
ethnic or religious groups or nations that go to war. I do not intend to imply that
these acts are similar. I’m simply pointing out the wide diversity and regrettable
frequency of violence. Of course, anger is much broader and isn’t only expressed in
horrendous events—it is a part of everyday life. Since the 9/11/2001 attack on the
World Trade Center Towers in New York City, there has been a lot of attention on
preventing violence by terrorists (mostly by capturing or killing the terrorists first)
but little serious research has been done to further our understanding of the causes
or prevention of angry aggression. Much research is needed.
There are many efforts to measure and predict violence (Quinsey, Harris, Rice,
& Cormier, 1998; Spielberger, 2005; DiGiuseppe & Tafrate (2003); Frick & Hare
(2003); or use a search engine), especially in juveniles or in maximum security and
psychiatric institutions. Much better measures and ways to predict violence are
needed. Knowledge about how to prevent aggression in many situations is even
more needed
Innate, genetic, hormonal & physical factors
Freud came to believe in a death or aggressive instinct because he saw so
much violence, sadism, war, and suicide. Konrad Lorenz (1966) believed that
species, both animal and human, survived by having an aggressive instinct
which protected their territory and young, and insured only the strongest
individuals survived. The sociobiologists, noting the frequency we go to war,
also suggest that we have inherited an aggressive nature, a tendency to lash
out at anything that gets in our way, a need to dominate and control. 
Research has shown that stimulation of certain parts of animals' brains
leads to aggression. Stimulation of other parts stops aggression. We don't
know how this works. In 1966, Charles Whitman killed his wife and mother
because "I do not consider this world worth living in...", then climbed a tower
on the University of Texas campus and fired his rifle at 38 people. He killed
14 before being killed. An autopsy revealed a large tumor in the limbic system
of his brain (where the aggression "centers" are in animal brains). In epileptic
patients with implanted electrodes, in rare cases violence follows stimulation
of certain parts. Abnormal EEG's have been found among repeat offenders
and aggressive people. So, aggression may sometimes have a physical basis.
Brain damage can be caused in many ways (Derlega and Janda, 1981). 
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