Fascination violence : on mind and brain of man hunters

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2010
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European Archives of Psychiatry and Clinical Neuroscience. 2010, 260(S2), pp. 100-105. ISSN 0940-1334. eISSN 1433-8491. Available under: doi: 10.1007/s00406-010-0144-8
Zusammenfassung

Why are savagery and violence so omnipresent among humans? We suggest that hunting behaviour is fascinating and attractive, a desire that makes temporary deprivation from physical needs, pain, sweat, blood, and ultimately the willingness to kill tolerable and even appetitive. Evolutionary development into the "perversion" of the urge to hunt humans, that is to say the transfer of this hunt to members of one's own species, has been nurtured by the resultant advantage of personal and social power and dominance. While breakdown of the inhibition towards intra-specific killing would endanger any animal species, controlled inhibition was enabled in humans in that higher regulatory systems, such as frontal lobe-based executive functions, prevent the involuntary derailment of hunting behaviour. If this control - such as in child soldiers for example - is not learnt, the brutality towards humans remains fascinating and appealing. Blood must flow in order to kill. It is hence an appetitive cue as is the struggling of the victim. Hunting for men, more rarely for women, is fascinating and emotionally arousing with the parallel release of testosterone, serotonin and endorphins, which can produce feelings of euphoria and alleviate pain. Bonding and social rites (e.g. initiation) set up the contraints for both hunting and violent disputes. Children learn which conditions legitimate aggressive behaviour and which not. Big game hunting as well as attack of other communities is more successful in groups - men also perceive it as more pleasurable. This may explain the fascination with gladiatorial combat, violent computer games but also ritualized forms like football.

Zusammenfassung in einer weiteren Sprache
Fachgebiet (DDC)
150 Psychologie
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Aggression, violence, child soldiers, trauma, PTSD
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ISO 690ELBERT, Thomas, Roland WEIERSTALL, Maggie SCHAUER, 2010. Fascination violence : on mind and brain of man hunters. In: European Archives of Psychiatry and Clinical Neuroscience. 2010, 260(S2), pp. 100-105. ISSN 0940-1334. eISSN 1433-8491. Available under: doi: 10.1007/s00406-010-0144-8
BibTex
@article{Elbert2010-11Fasci-14613,
  year={2010},
  doi={10.1007/s00406-010-0144-8},
  title={Fascination violence : on mind and brain of man hunters},
  number={S2},
  volume={260},
  issn={0940-1334},
  journal={European Archives of Psychiatry and Clinical Neuroscience},
  pages={100--105},
  author={Elbert, Thomas and Weierstall, Roland and Schauer, Maggie}
}
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