Read the text below describing the setting, a political rally. Then answer the questions under “Interpretations,” “Explanations Based on Theory,” and “Argumentation” below.
“Aggressive Acts at a Political Rally”
A large political rally for presidential candidate Louise Cranston is taking place in a baseball stadium in this Midwestern city. Police and reporters estimate over 15,000 supporters are present. In addition, there are a number of protesters who are standing on the fringes of the rally waving signs and chanting slogans trying to interrupt the candidate’s speech. Many in the crowd express frustration at waiting in line for hours undergoing unnecessarily slow security checks, then hours more waiting for the candidate and her team who were late arriving.
News coverage of recent rallies had shown the candidate’s supporters punching or kicking protestors, but the campaign security officers generally did nothing or just escorted the protesters out while supporters hurled insults at the protesters or urged others to hit them again. Supporters of the candidate (along with newscasters) generally seemed to believe the violence was helping their candidate in the polls (rewards and costs).
Near the stage the standing crowd is dense. There is lots of excitement with people jostling around , each trying to get the best view of the candidate. It is a hot summer day, in the high 90s, with bright mid-day sun and everyone is sweating. Minutes earlier, a fight broke out in the crowd not too far away (aggressive modeling) and a protester was dragged out while other supporters expressed support for supporters involved in the scuffle. One supporter of the candidate even displayed his gun in a holster as he shouted at the protester, “You’re not welcome here.”
In the middle of the crowd stood a married couple, Josh and Elizabeth, both had recently moved to the state from the South. The couple, like those around them, were excited, cheering loudly and waving energetically in support of the candidate. They were more boisterous than usual, having had several beers at lunch before stepping inside the stadium, and their hearts were racing with excitement.
At that point a man bumped into the woman causing her to almost lose her footing. At first she angrily told him to “watch it!” But then, seeing that her husband appeared to be getting angry, she tried to make a joke out of it and laugh it off. The husband could hear his heart pounding in his ears and tried to make sense of it. He decided he must be angrier than he had realized. He tried to control his anger but began yelling at the man saying he had insulted his wife. A nearby security guard stepped in and tried to calm the husband, ignoring the husband’s cursing while taking control and separating him from the other man. As the husband turned his anger against the guard, the man who had bumped the woman took advantage of this to slip away into the crowd. Meanwhile the guard ignored the insults the husband was hurling at him and tried to calm the husband down.
Name two characteristics or actions by Josh that encourage him to become aggressive, giving a quotation to show where each occurs.
Explanations Based on Theory
What are the four factors in the four factor theory of emotion? For each include a quotation showing where they occurred in this vignette.
One of your friends reads this and concludes that Elizabeth (the man’s wife) made a big effort to keep her husband from becoming aggressive through positive non-aggressive modeling. What quotation from the text shows where she did this? But another friend says he identified three ways in which she actually made it more likely her husband would be aggressive. Identify at least two ways she encouraged him to be more aggressive. Based on this, overall, do you think she did more to increase his aggression or decrease it?
A good essay for Part I of this assignment will probably require roughly 1-2 pages. Do not just list the questions and respond to them in a list. Your essay should look like an essay with a broad introduction that sets the context and a broad conclusion that pulls the various elements together and provides a summary or closure. It should be organized into paragraphs with related content together in the same paragraph and with transitions and paragraph headings that help convey your narrative or your argument.
Interpretations Based on Theories
Identify three aspects of this vignette that may contribute to social aggression according to the social learning theory of aggression. For each include a quotation from the text showing where it occurs.
What three aspects of this vignette, according to Berkowitz’s simplified frustration-aggression theory, are likely to contribute to social aggression? For each include a quotation from the text showing where it occurs.
Here are some actions the campaign team could take:
• Apologize for slow security checks
• Cool people off with huge fans
• Work up crowd to increase excitement
• Make guns highly visible
Identify two of these likely to reduce aggression and for each indicate a theory of aggression and a factor influencing aggression from that theory that they reduce. Similarly, identify one action likely to increase aggression and indicate the theory and factor influencing aggression from that theory that they increase.
A good essay for Part II of this assignment will probably require roughly 2 pages. Do not just list the questions and respond to them in a list. Your essay should look like an essay with a broad introduction that sets the context and a broad conclusion that pulls the various elements together and provides a summary or closure. It should be organized into paragraphs with related content together in the same paragraph and with transitions and paragraph headings that help convey your narrative or your argument.
Part II may be particularly difficult because it involves a broader range of issues than Part I. This often means you need to re-think the entire paper to integrate the two sets of issues. You are likely to need a broader introduction and conclusion as a result. Also try to have an effective transition between the Part I content and Part II that provides a smooth transition and ties the two sections together.