Reading Comprehension – Aggression is any behavior that is directed toward injuring


Slot – 2 – RC



Aggression is any behavior that is directed toward injuring, harming, or inflicting pain on another living being or group of beings. Generally, the victim(s) of aggression must wish to avoid such behavior in order for it to be considered true aggression. Aggression is also categorized according to its ultimate intent. Hostile aggression is an aggressive act that results from anger, and is intended to inflict pain or injury because of that anger. Instrumental aggression is an aggressive act that is regarded as a means to an end other than pain or injury. For example, an enemy combatant may be subjected to torture in order to extract useful intelligence, though those inflicting the torture may have no real feelings of anger or animosity toward their subject. The concept of aggression is very broad, and includes many categories of behavior (e.g., verbal aggression, street crime, child abuse, spouse abuse, group conflict, war, etc.). A number of theories and models of aggression have arisen to explain these diverse forms of behavior, and these theories/models tend to be categorized according to their specific focus. The most common system of categorization groups the various approaches to aggression into three separate areas, based upon the three key variables that are present whenever any aggressive act or set of acts is committed. The first variable is the aggressor him/herself. The second is the social situation or circumstance in which the aggressive act(s) occur. The third variable is the target or victim of aggression. Regarding theories and research on the aggressor, the fundamental focus is on the factors that lead an individual (or group) to commit aggressive acts. At the most basic level, some argue that aggressive urges and actions are the result of inborn, biological factors. Sigmund Freud (1930) proposed that all individuals are born with a death instinct that predisposes us to a variety of aggressive behaviors, including suicide (self directed aggression) and mental illness (possibly due to an unhealthy or unnatural suppression of aggressive urges). Other influential perspectives supporting a biological basis for aggression conclude that humans evolved with an abnormally low neural inhibition of aggressive impulses (in comparison to other species), and that humans possess a powerful instinct for property accumulation and territorialism. It is proposed that this instinct accounts for hostile behaviors ranging from minor street crime to world wars. Hormonal factors also appear to play a significant role in fostering aggressive tendencies. For example, the hormone testosterone has been shown to increase aggressive behaviors when injected into animals. Men and women convicted of violent crimes also possess significantly higher levels of testosterone than men and women convicted of non violent crimes. Numerous studies comparing different age groups, racial/ethnic groups, and cultures also indicate that men, overall, are more likely to engage in a variety of aggressive behaviors (e.g., sexual assault, aggravated assault, etc.) than women. One explanation for higher levels of aggression in men is based on the assumption that, on average, men have higher levels of testosterone than women.

Q.1 The author discusses all of the following arguments in the passage EXCEPT that?
  1. the nature of aggression can vary depending on several factors, including intent.
  2. aggression in most societies is kept under control through moderating the death instinct identified by Freud.
  3. several studies indicate that aggression may have roots in the biological condition of humanity
  4. men in general are believed to be more hormonally driven to exhibit violence than women.
Answer: 2

Q.2 The author identifies three essential factors according to which theories of aggression are most commonly categorised. Which of the following options is closest to the factors identified by the author?
  1. Aggressor – Circumstances of aggression – Victim.
  2. Psychologically – Sociologically – Medically
  3. Hostile – Instrumental – Hormonal
  4. Extreme – Moderate – Mild
Answer: 1

Q.3 All of the following statements can be seen as logically implied by the arguments of the passage EXCEPT:?
  1. the Freudian theory of suicide as self-inflicted aggression implies that an aggressive act need not be sought to be avoided in order for it to be considered aggression.
  2. Freud’s theory of aggression proposes that aggression results from the suppression of aggressive urges.
  3. a common theory of aggression is that it is the result of an abnormally low neural regulation of testosterone.
  4. if the alleged aggressive act is not sought to be avoided, it cannot really be considered aggression.
Answer: 3

Q.4 “[A]n enemy combatant may be subjected to torture in order to extract useful intelligence, though those inflicting the torture may have no real feelings of anger or animosity toward their subject.” Which one of the following best explicates the larger point being made by the author here?
  1. The use of torture to extract information is most effective when the torturer is not emotionally involved in the torture.
  2. When an enemy combatant refuses to reveal information, the use of torture can sometimes involve real feelings of hostility.
  3. Information revealed by subjecting an enemy combatant to torture is not always reliable because of the animosity involved.
  4. In certain kinds of aggression, inflicting pain is not the objective, and is no more than a utilitarian means to achieve another end.
Answer: 4

Q.1 Option 1 has been discussed in the passage. Refer to the following extract, “Aggression is also categorized according to its ultimate intent. Hostile aggression is an aggressive act that results from anger, and is intended to inflict pain or injury because of that anger. Instrumental aggression is an aggressive act that is regarded as a means to an end other than pain or injury.”
Option 3, too, has been discussed in the passage. Refer to the following extract, “At the most basic level, some argue that aggressive urges and actions are the result of inborn, biological factors.”
Option 4 has also been discussed in the passage. Refer to the following extract, “Numerous studies comparing different age groups, racial/ethnic groups, and cultures also indicate that men, overall, are more likely to engage in a variety of aggressive behaviors (e.g., sexual assault, aggravated assault, etc.) than women. One explanation for higher levels of aggression in men is based on the assumption that, on average, men have higher levels of testosterone than women.”
In option 2, the death instinct was identified by Freud but the passage does not state that most societies have been able to moderate this death instinct.
Hence, the correct answer is option 2.

Q.2 Refer to the following extract, “The most common system of categorization groups the various approaches to aggression into three separate areas, based upon the three key variables that are present whenever any aggressive act or set of acts is committed. The first variable is the aggressor him/herself. The second is the social situation or circumstance in which the aggressive act(s) occur. The third variable is the target or victim of aggression.” Thus, option 1 is the correct answer.
Options 2, 3 and 4 are thus eliminated.
Hence, the correct answer is option 1.

Q.3 Refer to the following extract, “Other influential perspectives supporting a biological basis for aggression conclude that humans evolved with an abnormally low neural inhibition of aggressive impulses (in comparison to other species), and that humans possess a powerful instinct for property accumulation and territorialism.” Testosterone is a hormonal reason (another reason for aggression) and not a biological one. Thus, option 3 cannot be logically implied by the passage and is the correct answer.

Option 1 can be implied. Refer to the following extract, “Sigmund Freud (1930) proposed that all individuals are born with a death instinct that predisposes us to a variety of aggressive behaviors, including suicide (self directed aggression)…”

Option 2 can also be implied from the passage, “Sigmund Freud (1930) proposed that all individuals are born with a death instinct that predisposes us to a variety of aggressive behaviors, including suicide (self directed aggression) and mental illness (possibly due to an unhealthy or unnatural suppression of aggressive urges).”

Option 4, too, can be logically implied. Refer to the following extract, “Generally, the victim(s) of aggression must wish to avoid such behavior in order for it to be considered true aggression.” From this extract it can be easily inferred that if the alleged aggressive act is not sought to be avoided, it cannot really be considered aggression.

Hence, the correct answer is option 3.

Q.4 The question asks us to choose the option which best explicates (or explains) the larger point being made by the author from the given sentence.
Refer to the following extract, “Instrumental aggression is an aggressive act that is regarded as a means to an end other than pain or injury. For example, an enemy combatant may be subjected to torture in order to extract useful intelligence, though those inflicting the torture may have no real feelings of anger or animosity toward their subject.” This extract is in conformity with option 4. The word, utilitarian in option 4 means pertaining to something useful.
Options 1 and 2 cannot be inferred or deduced from the passage. Option 3 contradicts the passage – during torture no real animosity is involved.
Hence, the correct answer is option 4.

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