Cognitive Control Processes and Defense Mechanisms That Influence Aggressive Reactions: Toward an Integration of Socio-Cognitive and Psychodynamic Models of Aggression

Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, Vol. 15 (2022)

Mots clés
Auteurs
  • Jean Gagnon
  • Department of Psychology, University of Montreal, Montréal, QC, Canada
  • Jean Gagnon
  • Centre for Interdisciplinary Research in Rehabilitation of Greater Montreal (CRIR), Montreal, QC, Canada
  • Jean Gagnon
  • Laboratoire d'électrophysiologie en neuroscience sociale (LENS), Université de Montréal, Montréal, QC, Canada
  • Joyce Emma Quansah
  • Department of Psychology, University of Montreal, Montréal, QC, Canada
  • Joyce Emma Quansah
  • Centre for Interdisciplinary Research in Rehabilitation of Greater Montreal (CRIR), Montreal, QC, Canada
  • Joyce Emma Quansah
  • Laboratoire d'électrophysiologie en neuroscience sociale (LENS), Université de Montréal, Montréal, QC, Canada
  • Paul McNicoll
  • Department of Psychology, University of Montreal, Montréal, QC, Canada
  • Paul McNicoll
  • Centre for Interdisciplinary Research in Rehabilitation of Greater Montreal (CRIR), Montreal, QC, Canada
  • Paul McNicoll
  • Laboratoire d'électrophysiologie en neuroscience sociale (LENS), Université de Montréal, Montréal, QC, Canada

Résumé

Research on cognitive processes has primarily focused on cognitive control and inhibitory processes to the detriment of other psychological processes, such as defense mechanisms (DMs), which can be used to modify aggressive impulses as well as self/other images during interpersonal conflicts. First, we conducted an in-depth theoretical analysis of three socio-cognitive models and three psychodynamic models and compared main propositions regarding the source of aggression and processes that influence its enactment. Second, 32 participants completed the Hostile Expectancy Violation Paradigm (HEVP) in which scenarios describe a hostile vs. non-hostile social context followed by a character's ambiguous aversive behavior. The N400 effect to critical words that violate expected hostile vs. non-hostile intent of the behavior was analyzed. Prepotent response inhibition was measured using a Stop Signal task (SST) and DMs were assessed with the Defense Style Questionnaire (DSQ-60). Results showed that reactive aggression and HIA were not significantly correlated with response inhibition but were significantly positively and negatively correlated with image distorting defense style and adaptive defense style, respectively. The present article has highlighted the importance of integrating socio-cognitive and psychodynamic models to account for the full complexity underlying psychological processes that influence reactive aggressive behavior.

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