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The pleasure of aggressiveness among inmates in preventive and longTerm detention



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Cabanac, Michel and Ramirez, J. Martin and Millana Cuevas, Luis Clemente and Toldos Romero, María Paz and Bonniot-Cabanac, Marie-Claude (2008) The pleasure of aggressiveness among inmates in preventive and longTerm detention. The Open Criminology Journal, 1 (2). pp. 19-26. ISSN 1874-9178

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To a large degree, humans use pleasure (hedonicity) maximization to guide decision making, thereby optimizing their behaviour, as shown by research on either sensory or purely mental pleasure (e.g., pleasure from video-game playing or mathematical problem-solving). Our group has now found that pleasure determines decision making in situations of interpersonal aggression, i.e., people tend to behave aggressively in proportion to the resulting pleasure. In the present study, two groups of inmates in a Spanish prison were compared: those serving long sentences and those being held in preventive detention. All participants answered self-administered questionnaires that had been devised to examine how hedonicity influences decision making in the case of aggressive behaviour. The questionnaires described social conflict situations and offered four options ranging from a passive response to a highly aggressive response. Previous research showed similar results between inmates serving long terms and a non-delinquent population, even though the degree of hedonicity was higher in the inmates: increasingly aggressive behavior is increasingly pleasurable to the aggressor, but only up to a certain level.. In contrast, this paper shows that inmates in preventive detention did not rate any of the aggressive responses as pleasant. Such a difference was present in males only and may have been caused by a desire for social acceptance.

Item Type:Article
Uncontrolled Keywords:Aggressiveness, Hedonicity, Emotion, Prison inmates, Decision making, Social desirability
Subjects:Medical sciences > Psychology > Emotions and Aggresiveness
ID Code:8409
Deposited On:26 Jan 2009 15:58
Last Modified:29 Nov 2018 12:51

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