Animal Cruelty, Antisocial Behaviour, and Aggression: More by Eleonora Gullone (auth.)

By Eleonora Gullone (auth.)

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Another distinction is that of impulsive versus premeditated d aggression. Impulsive aggression is conceptualized as being automatic and non-cognitive or thoughtless, and occurs without giving consideration to consequences. In contrast, premeditated aggression is deliberate and slow, less emotional, and more proactive rather than reactive. As is apparent, the dimensions used to differentiate what have been considered by some to be different subtypes of aggression are not distinct. , Anderson, 2000; 2002; Anderson & Huesmann, 2003; Bushman & Anderson, 2001) have highlighted that the identified subtypes are not mutually exclusive.

Of particular relevance to physical aggression, is the dimension of severity. As stated by Anderson and Huesmann (2003), violence is physical aggression that lies at the extreme high end of the aggression continuum and includes murder, rape, and aggravated assault. In distinguishing between aggression and violence, Anderson and Huesmann note that whilst only extreme aggression can constitute violence, all violence is aggressive. Gendreau and Archer (2005) cited an important dichotomy in aggression based on the work of Feshbach (1964) which distinguishes between behaviours that have the primary goal of causing injury to the victim and pleasure or satisfaction to the aggressor compared to behaviours that do not have injury as the main goal.

Their cruelty toward animals reportedly served as a displaced expression of the violence they experienced. As stated by Kellert and Felthous, “It is often easier in childhood to be violent toward an animal than against a parent, sibling, or adult” (p. 1124), and finally (ix) “non-specific sadism” refers to the desire to inflict suffering, injury or death in the absence of any particular hostile feelings toward an animal. One primary goal expressed within this motivation was to derive pleasure from causing the suffering.

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