Varieties of Aggressive Men

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Abstract

Originally published in Contemporary Psychology: APA Review of Books, 1979, Vol 24(8), 660–661. Reviews the book, Brain Dysfunction in Aggressive Criminals by Russell R. Monroe (1978). The book provides a broad but uneven literature review, an ambitious but ultimately inadequate theoretical framework, and a thorough but often excessively detailed description of a methodologically vulnerable study designed to test hypotheses generated by an outmoded conceptual model. The chief contribution of the book is the elucidation of interindividual heterogeneity in an apparently homogeneous group of 93 incarcerated, recidivist aggressive criminals. A more major methodologic shortcoming is this: The authors posit the episodic recurring CNS instability (as indexed by EEG-activated theta waves to alpha chloralose) has an exclusive relationship to maladaptive aggressive behavior. Thus, a control group of highly creative, but nonphysically aggressive or violent individuals needs to be studied to determine the proportion of such individuals manifesting episodic recurring CNS instability relative to the aggressive criminal group and general population norms. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved)

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