By Neuroscience News
Have you ever thought aggression stems from a lack of self-control? Research from Virginia Commonwealth University says otherwise.
Professor David Chester led the study titled "Aggression As Successful Self-Control". It synthesizes findings from numerous psychology and neurology studies.
Contrary to popular belief, aggression isn't a result of poor impulse control. Rather, it often emerges from successful self-regulation.
Chester found that the most aggressive individuals didn't necessarily lack self-discipline. In fact, self-control boosting programs failed to curb their violent tendencies.
The study suggests aggression is often premeditated. Individuals, seeking revenge, may deliberately restrain themselves to maximize retribution.
Even psychopaths, who are often violent, develop inhibitory self-control over time. Aggression is then not an impulsive act but a controlled behavior.
So, the idea that aggression stems from poor self-control isn't as solid as we thought. Instead, self-control can both limit and fuel aggression, depending on the situation and individual.
The new understanding demands a careful approach towards treatments seeking to improve self-control to reduce violence. We might be teaching some people to better implement their aggressive tendencies, and this is something we need to take into account in future research and therapies.