Aggression vs. sadness


Aggression and sadness are distinctly different emotional states, each governed by separate neural circuits in the brain. While it's a common misconception arising from pop psychology that aggression is merely amplified sadness, scientific evidence shows that the circuits for aggression and those for grief or mourning do not overlap. Understanding this distinction helps in managing these emotions more effectively 1 .

Moreover, aggression can manifest in various forms and contexts. It can be adaptive, such as maternal aggression to protect offspring, or maladaptive, like unprovoked violence. The type of aggression and its appropriateness greatly depends on the context and can be influenced by biological, psychological, and environmental factors 1 . Understanding these nuances is crucial for managing aggression and its impacts on behavior and mental health.

Understanding Aggression

Andrew discusses how aggression can be adaptive in certain contexts, such as a mother protecting her children, but can also be harmful in unprovoked situations. He also debunks the idea that aggression is just a form of sadness and emphasizes the importance of understanding the distinct circuits in the brain for aggression and other emotional states.

Huberman Lab

Understanding & Controlling Aggression | Huberman Lab Podcast #71