Stimulation-Induced Behavioral Inhibition: A New Model for Understanding Physical Violence

Mawson, Anthony R.
July 1999
Integrative Physiological & Behavioral Science;Jul-Sep99, Vol. 34 Issue 3, p177
Academic Journal
Abstract--Physical violence is widely considered to result from action carried out with the intention of causing injury; that is, from aggression. However, the "hypothesis" of aggression is inapplicable in all but a few instances as well as inappropriate for many destructive, rage-associated responses directed at inanimate objects. This paper outlines a new perspective on physical violence, reinterpreting many behaviors hitherto labeled aggressive as stimulation-seeking behaviors (SSBs) above an arbitrary level of intensity. It is further proposed that: 1) physical violence is a by-product of SSB, driven in part by brain catecholaminergic (CA) systems, and the direct result of exchanges of energy that exceed the body's tolerance threshold; 2) allegedly discrete categories of motor-motivational behavior represent overlapping bands of intensity on a continuous spectrum of SSB; and 3) the sensory input derived from SSB is fed back into the central nervous system where it activates brain serotonergic and/or cholinergic systems, which in turn inhibit CA systems, resulting in a general state of behavioral quiescence. In addition to accounting for a number of previously unexplained observations, the model suggests that physical violence could be prevented by providing groups at high risk with extensive opportunities for therapeutic sensory stimulation to substitute for that derived from excessive SSB. For people at especially high risk, portable devices could be developed that would allow the user to self-administer desired levels of sensory stimulation at moments of intense anger, thereby preventing potentially dangerous outbursts of SSB prior to the onset of the behavior.


Related Articles

  • Are You a Risk Taker? Zuckerman, Marvin // Psychology Today;Nov/Dec2000, Vol. 33 Issue 6, p52 

    Presents information on the sensation-seeking and risk-taking behaviors. Origin of high risk behaviors; Factors which heighten the condition of risk takers such as environment and heredity; Discussion on the inhibitory and disinhibitory transmitters in the brain.

  • Sensation Seeking Among High and Low-Risk Male Athletes. Straub, William F. // Journal of Sport Psychology;1982, Vol. 4 Issue 3, p246 

    Many problems are associated with the measurement of athletes in contemporary sport psychology. There is, for example, a dearth of valid and reliable tests to assess the many and diverse behaviors of players. The purpose of this investigation was to attempt to validate Zuckerman's sensation...

  • IMPACT OF EXTRAVERSION AND SENSATION SEEKING ON INTERNATIONAL TOURISM CHOICES. CHENG-YU LI; BI-KUN TSAI // Social Behavior & Personality: an international journal;2013, Vol. 41 Issue 2, p327 

    Tourism is a leisure-related social activity. People always choose their desired tourism destinations and types according to their interests, intentions, and preferences. This means that personality influences tourism consumers' behavior. We examined the impact of extraversion and sensation...

  • Impulsiveness, Impulsive Aggression, Personality Disorder, and Spousal Violence. Edwards, Daniel W.; Scott, Charles L.; Yarvis, Richard M.; Paizis, Cheryl L.; Panizzon, Matthew S. // Violence & Victims;Feb2003, Vol. 18 Issue 1, p3 

    Provides information on a study that confirmed the relationship between impulsiveness, impulsive aggression and physical violence in spouse abusers. Methodology of the study; Results and discussion on the study.

  • Delinquency and criminal offenses in former schizophrenic inpatients 7-12 years following discharge. Soyka, Michael; Morhart-Klute, Veronika; Schoech, Heinz // European Archives of Psychiatry & Clinical Neuroscience;2004, Vol. 254 Issue 5, p289 

    Presents a study which assessed the prevalence of criminal offenses and delinquency in former schizophrenic inpatients following discharge. Overview of the study population; Methodology; Findings and conclusions.

  • Perceptions, emotions, and behavioral decisions in conflicts that escalate to violence. Winstok, Zeev // Motivation & Emotion;Jun2007, Vol. 31 Issue 2, p125 

    The present study tests the notion that cost-benefit considerations guide individuals’ emotional and behavioral responses when confronting an aggressive male stranger. Data was derived from hypothetical situations, with varying levels of opponent dangerousness and aggression severity,...

  • Factorial structure of the Sensation-Seeking Scale-Form V: confirmatory factorial analyses in nonclinical and clinical samples. Loas, Gwenolé; Verrier, Annie; Flament, Martine F; Perez-Diaz, Fernando; Corcos, Maurice; Halfon, Olivier; Lang, François; Bizouard, Paul; Venisse, Jean Luc; Guelfi, Julien Daniel; Jeammet, Philippe; Loas, G; Verrier, A; Flament, M F; Perez-Diaz, F; Corcos, M; Halfon, O; Lang, F; Bizouard, P; Venisse, J L // Canadian Journal of Psychiatry;Nov2001, Vol. 46 Issue 9, p850 

    Objective: The factor structure of the Sensation-Seeking Scale (SSS)-Form V was studied in 2 large French samples, using confirmatory factorial analyses (CFA) to test the 4-dimensional model of sensation seeking postulated by Zuckerman.Method: The study included 769...

  • Thinking About the Future as a Way to Succeed in the Present: A Longitudinal Study of Future Orientation and Violent Behaviors Among African American Youth. Stoddard, Sarah; Zimmerman, Marc; Bauermeister, José // American Journal of Community Psychology;Dec2011, Vol. 48 Issue 3/4, p238 

    Previous research has linked higher levels of hopelessness about one's future to violent behavior during adolescence; however, little is known about this relationship over time for adolescents. Using growth curve modeling, we tested the association between future orientation and violent behavior...

  • Bullying among students and its consequences on health. Houbre, Barbara; Tarquinio, Cyril; Thuillier, Isabelle; Hergott, Emmanuelle // European Journal of Psychology of Education - EJPE (Instituto Su;Jun2006, Vol. 21 Issue 2, p183 

    Violence among students at school is an ever-growing problem. Bullying can be defined as all forms of repeated physical or mental violence performed by an individual on another person who is not capable of defending him/herself (Roland & Idsoe, 2001). The three studies conducted here reveal some...


Read the Article


Sorry, but this item is not currently available from your library.

Try another library?
Sign out of this library

Other Topics