What Causes Someone to Act on Violent Impulses?
Some people are able to control anger or frustration and channel these feelings to nondestructive outlets. Others, …
Jan 12, 2011
Marco Iacoboni, a University of California, Los Angeles, professor of psychiatry and biobehavioral sciences and director of the school’s Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation Laboratory, about why some individuals act on their violent thoughts whereas others do not.
Iacoboni is best known for his work studying mirror neurons, a small circuit of cells in the brain that may be an important element of social cognition.
What turns anger into action?
Mostly cognitive control, or to use a less technical term, self-control.
About a year ago I was in Davos at the World Economic Forum, and we had a dinner-with-talks on intelligence. University of Michigan professor of social psychology Richard Nisbett, the world’s greatest authority on intelligence, plainly said that he’d rather have his son being high in self-control than intelligence.
Self-control is key to a well-functioning life, because our brain makes us easily [susceptible] to all sorts of influences.
Watching a movie showing violent acts predisposes us to act violently. Even just listening to violent rhetoric makes us more inclined to be violent.
Ironically, the same mirror neurons that make us empathic make us also very vulnerable to all sorts influences.
A variety of issues, especially mental health problems that lead to social isolation, lead the subject to a mental state that alters his or her ability to exercise cognitive control in a healthy manner.
What are the signs that a person is disturbed enough to take action?
The signs are quite visible, although difficult to interpret without a context …
How universal can an intelligence test be?
Myeloid differentiation architecture of leukocyte transcriptome dynamics in perceived social isolation
PNAS vol. 112 no. 49: 15142–15147
Steven W. Colea, et al.