I argue that viewed from a total perspective violence is trending towards the negative and that over time we are becoming a species that looks for more respect among individuals. We have grown a desire for a sort of egoistic altruism, or at the very least as many positive sum games as can be afforded in time. I do not want to deny that our world is due for a significant change in policies to be more inclusive and respectful towards others and the choices they make in their lives. But I feel that we need to have an optimistic look at the trends- life really is getting better for the majority of us, and it might continue to do so.

ABKpsych is a series of blogs dedicated to exposing the world to the awesomeness of the human mind and the human condition. Here you can expect to see information that is researched, cited, and is at least to the author interesting. It may at times counter your beliefs about the world. Know that I am always reachable here and on a variety of platforms for discussion of these topics. These posts I hope will appear on Sundays starting in April.

The Reviewniverse is still going- this post is part of that stream and that is why you are seeing ABKpsych on a Thursday. The book for this week was The Better Angels of Our Nature by Steven Pinker, linked to several times throughout this article. It can be found in almost any bookstore.

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Borrelli, A. (2018, May 25). Haley Anderson homicide: Tercero’s extradition from Nicaragua a work in progress. Retrieved from https://www.pressconnects.com/story/news/public-safety/2018/05/25/haley-anderson-murder-orlando-tercero-binghamton-university/641445002/

Ferguson, C., Trigani, B., Pilato, S., Miller, S., Foley, K., & Barr, H. (2016). Violent Video Games Don’t Increase Hostility in Teens, but They Do Stress Girls Out. Psychiatric Quarterly, 87(1), 49–56. https://doi-org.potsdam.idm.oclc.org/10.1007/s11126-015-9361-7

Incidents and Offenses Hate crime statistics. (2018, November 01). Retrieved from https://ucr.fbi.gov/hate-crime/2017/topic-pages/incidents-and-offenses

JIA-KUN ZHENG, & QIAN ZHANG. (2016). Priming Effect of Computer Game Violence on Children’s Aggression Levels. Social Behavior & Personality: An International Journal, 44(10), 1747–1759. https://doi-org.potsdam.idm.oclc.org/10.2224/sbp.2016.44.10.1747

Percent Change in crime for Consecutive Years 2014–2018. (2019, January 28). Retrieved from https://ucr.fbi.gov/crime-in-the-u.s/2018/preliminary-report/tables/table-3

Pinker, S. (2012). The better angels of our nature. London: Penguin.

Pinker, S. (n.d.). Frequently Asked Questions about The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined. Retrieved from https://stevenpinker.com/pages/frequently-asked-questions-about-better-angels-our-nature-why-violence-has-declined

Rojas, R. (2018, April 22). 2 Student Murders Have Binghamton University on Edge. Retrieved from https://www.nytimes.com/2018/04/22/nyregion/students-murder-binghamton-university.html

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9 thoughts on “An Uplifting Reality; Steven Pinker and a Revelation on violence- ABKpsych/ In Reviewniverse

  1. This is a very well written, thoughtful, confronting and challenging read – I am a New Zealander and am still utterly devastated by the very recent atrocity against Muslim people, while they were praying, in their mosque. 50 innocent people were murdered in what I thought was my peaceful and largely accepting country. I read somewhere that for our population size, this is equivalent to a mass murder of over 3000 people in the US. So, for me, the idea that hate and violence may be actually decreasing on the whole is a hard to see but a little comforting. It seems radicalization and extremism is rife, and I fear so much for the current global political environment. What I would say is that the response from the NZ community has been one of togetherness and deepest respect and empathy. There are some amazing photos of our priminkster wearing a hijab, and there has been a public outpouring of grief and support.
    On a personal level, I admire you so much in sharing that you have been a victim yourself. It takes courage and strength. Many find this too hard to do themselves but draw strength and inspiration from people who do…
    Thank you for posting this.

    1. I’m glad to see that after so much violence from hatred and anger the response in New Zealand is inclusive and sane. I hope the best for your country in these times.

      As always thank you so much for reading and leaving such a thoughtful comment- it means a lot to me!

  2. Powerful article, arguing is became part of our lives, it became so normal, that it doesn’t even surprise people anymore..The world is changing and sadly in to the dark part

    1. I’m sorry you feel that way! Hopefully this article shed some light on how the world is actually getting better for us over time. I really recommend The Better Angels of our Nature. I think it gives a much nicer view of our world and a good case for optimism!

      Thanks for reading and for commenting. Keep writing my friend.

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