Why do some people like conflict so much

Why do some people like conflict so much

You were insulted or hit for no reason. Why? The answer lies in the workings of the human brain.

In life, we often encounter gratuitous aggression and can not always explain it. One person in response to a polite question shouts at you and is indignant, another mocks you, causing a conflict, and the third immediately climbs into a fight.

Why do they behave this way? Why do some people always respond adequately to external circumstances, while others have aggression that goes over the edge?

As always, it's all about the brain. Let's look at what processes make people hostile without obvious threats.

Watch the video on the topic

How aggression is born: the battle of the prefrontal cortex and amygdala

Our behavior and response to external circumstances are regulated by many brain structures. The limbic system, including the amygdala and hippocampus, is responsible for emotions: fear, pleasure, and rage. They are necessary for survival because they reinforce useful behavior and help avoid dangers.

But sometimes emotions need to be slowed down in order to respond adequately to external circumstances. This is done by the prefrontal and anterior cingulate cortex. They regulate behavior, predict the likelihood of reward and punishment, and suppress aggression.

Even if you want to slap a person in the face for being so stupid, you won't do it: the prefrontal cortex understands how this can end.

A person's reaction depends on which brain structure wins. And this, in turn, is determined by many different factors.

Why is the crust loses

Brain injury

In people with disorders of certain parts of the cortex, aggressive and hostile behavior is noted. There is a known case when a responsible worker after an industrial injury that led to damage to the orbitofrontal cortex, became aggressive and unsociable.

Of course, such cases are not very common and a person with an injury is unlikely to work in your company. But when it comes to an aggressive stranger, such a reason has a right to exist.

Lack of gray matter

Psychopaths and antisocial individuals have a lack of gray matter in some areas of the cortex. This structural disorder prevents them from feeling guilty and empathizing, assessing the consequences of their actions, and suppressing impulsive behavior.

Running into a psychopath is much more real than running into a person with a head injury. Therefore, be careful: people with this disorder not only get high from violence but also do not think about the consequences of their actions.

Lack of serotonin and an excess of dopamine

The neurotransmitters serotonin and dopamine are associated with aggressive behavior in mammals. For example, in rats in this state, the level of dopamine in the brain increases. up to 140%, and serotonin levels, on the contrary, are reduced to 80%. Lack of the latter in the prefrontal cortex of animals causes Aggression and the brain acute forms of aggression, and when they artificially increase the level of this mediator, aggression disappears.

This is also true for people. In one study, fewer serotonin byproducts were found in the cerebrospinal fluid of aggressive people than in people with adequate responses. In another experiment, taking a substance that lowers serotonin levels in the brain made participants aggressive and hostile.

Serotonin can decrease for various reasons. It is often associated with a bad mood, and the connection works in both directions: increased serotonin raises the mood, and improved mood in any way increases serotonin.

Therefore, the statement that people are aggressive because of a bad mood is not without meaning.

In addition, serotonin metabolism can be laid down at the gene level. Therefore, aggressive behavior is inherited by 44-72%. Moreover, the effect of a genetic predisposition can increase a difficult childhood: 45% of aggressive people survived. at an early age, ill-treatment.

This is confirmed by the fact that children who have experienced domestic abuse or poor socio-economic conditions are most often bullied by their peers.

Serotonin metabolism is also disrupted by alcohol intake. This may be why alcoholics are often aggressive and violent.

The reason for aggressive behavior may be a genetic predisposition to aggression, a difficult childhood, or alcohol intoxication.

So, one of these factors suppressed the activity of the prefrontal cortex, and the amygdala took over. However, his victory does not fully explain the aggressive behavior. People with hyperactive amygdala may just be anxious, not aggressive. What makes them hostile? There are several theories.

Why do people behave aggressively

Fear, hostility, and distrust can be a consequence of low oxytocin levels. Oxytocin is a hormone that forms attachment and trust between people. It also holds you back. the activity of the amygdala and its lack increases the chances of aggressive behavior.

Hugs are known to increase the amount of oxytocin. So the next time someone in a bar calls you out to talk, try hugging them (as a joke). Most likely, the aggressor will push you away and the fight will begin not on the street, but right in the bar. Because he likes it.

Since dopamine is involved in aggressive behavior, scientists have suggested that aggression can cause pleasure. The fact is that dopamine is directly related to the reward system and plays a large role in getting pleasure and forming addictions. It is logical to assume that people can get hooked on aggressive behavior and deliberately look for conflict situations.

Moreover, the study found that already low serotonin decreases even further after a victorious experience of aggression.

If a person got into a fight and won, their serotonin receptors started working even worse. So after each successful conflict for him, he becomes a little more aggressive.

It is difficult for a normal person to understand how you can get pleasure from this. After all, conflict situations cause so much stress: trembling hands, cold sweat, a lump in the throat — this is not pleasant. There is one theory that explains this: aggressors simply don't feel this way.

Aggressive people have reduced levels of cortisol, a stress hormone. The lack of this hormone does not allow the Autonomous nervous system to be activated, and people with this disorder specifically perform actions that increase arousal. In addition, due to reduced cortisol levels, they feel calmer when they commit violence against other people. And if your hands are shaking after a scandal, it will only bring them a slight pleasant excitement.