International Society for Research on Aggression (ISRA)

  • Description
  • ISRA Pur­pose and Mission

    The Inter­na­tional Soci­ety for Research on Aggres­sion (ISRA) is a soci­ety of schol­ars and sci­en­tists inter­ested in the sci­en­tific study of aggres­sion and vio­lence. The Soci­ety is both inter­na­tional and inter­dis­ci­pli­nary and meets every other year on alter­nat­ing con­ti­nents. There are over 250 mem­bers from sev­eral dozen coun­tries with spe­cial­ties in psy­chol­ogy, psy­chi­a­try, phys­i­ol­ogy, soci­ol­ogy, anthro­pol­ogy, ani­mal behav­ior, crim­i­nol­ogy, polit­i­cal sci­ence, phar­ma­col­ogy, and education.

    Mis­sion Statement

    The human capac­ity for aggres­sive­ness and vio­lence inflicts an awe­some bur­den on soci­ety. Obvi­ously, it is a direct cause of death and imme­di­ate phys­i­cal injury, but it also cre­ates long-​term emo­tional and phys­i­cal dis­abil­i­ties. It also impacts those who wit­ness the vio­lence, and the fam­i­lies and com­mu­ni­ties of the vic­tims. It is of crit­i­cal impor­tance, although all too often unrec­og­nized, that the impact of vio­lence on com­mu­ni­ties impairs the abil­ity of those com­mu­ni­ties to effec­tively address impor­tant pub­lic health issues, such as infec­tious dis­eases, mal­nu­tri­tion, urban decay, and envi­ron­men­tal haz­ards and to deliver crit­i­cal pub­lic ser­vices, such as pub­lic edu­ca­tion and emer­gency management.

    Given the com­plex and per­va­sive effects, it is clear that find­ing solu­tions to aggres­sive and vio­lent behav­ior will require the ded­i­cated efforts of sci­en­tists work­ing together in a truly inter­dis­ci­pli­nary spirit. Research must address brain and other phys­i­cal processes that under­lie the human capac­ity for vio­lence, the psy­cho­log­i­cal processes that facil­i­tate vio­lent actions and that can pro­vide alter­na­tives to vio­lence, and the social fac­tors that serve to pro­mote or pre­vent vio­lent behav­ior. This mul­ti­dis­ci­pli­nary approach must also move beyond the sim­ple aware­ness of find­ings in other dis­ci­plines to the active incor­po­ra­tion of these find­ings into research that spans mul­ti­ple disciplines.

    The Inter­na­tional Soci­ety for Research on Aggres­sion is the only inter­dis­ci­pli­nary and inter­na­tional orga­ni­za­tion ded­i­cated to the dis­sem­i­na­tion of infor­ma­tion regard­ing the causes and con­se­quences of, and solu­tion to, aggres­sive behav­ior, in all of its forms and con­texts. We are a diverse group of sci­en­tists drawn from many dif­fer­ent dis­ci­plines, includ­ing rep­re­sen­ta­tives from neu­ro­science, behav­ioral endocrinol­ogy, psy­chol­ogy, psy­chi­a­try, soci­ol­ogy, crim­i­nol­ogy, and behav­ior genetics.

    Recent find­ings across these dif­fer­ent dis­ci­plines and dif­fer­ent method­olo­gies have demon­strated impor­tant and promis­ing areas of con­ver­gence. The fun­da­men­tal pur­pose of ISRA is to pro­vide the forum and the inter­dis­ci­pli­nary audi­ence through our con­fer­ences and our jour­nal, Aggres­sive Behav­ior, where such stud­ies can be placed in a broader frame­work to facil­i­tate the emer­gence of research with promise to impact human violence.

    Because address­ing the issue of aggres­sion and vio­lence will take a per­sis­tent con­certed effort, it is vital to develop young sci­en­tists to take up the chal­lenge of a career in this inter­dis­ci­pli­nary field. There­fore ISRA is devoted to encour­ag­ing younger sci­en­tists to develop an inter­dis­ci­pli­nary per­spec­tive on aggres­sion. More­over, because vio­lence knows no bor­ders, the effort must be inter­na­tional in scope. Excel­lent basic research is being con­ducted through­out the world, and the knowl­edge gained through this research must be made known. In addi­tion, the find­ings of researchers study­ing vio­lence in dif­fer­ent cul­tures and social con­texts pro­vide extremely valu­able insights that can strengthen the research and prac­tice of researchers in other cul­tures and con­texts. ISRA is ded­i­cated to a truly inter­na­tional approach to aggres­sion and vio­lence. Because some of the most per­va­sive vio­lent actions occur in coun­tries with few resources, ISRA pro­motes the par­tic­i­pa­tion of sci­en­tists from such countries.

    Effec­tively address­ing vio­lence and aggres­sion, whether it be child abuse, domes­tic vio­lence, homi­cide, ter­ror­ism, sex­ual vio­lence, or civil wars, requires a com­mit­ted and sus­tained focus by inter­na­tional sci­en­tists. This has been ISRA’s mis­sion for more than 35 years, and we need your help to con­tinue our efforts to pro­vide an inter­na­tional, inter­dis­ci­pli­nary forum ded­i­cated to the erad­i­ca­tion of aggression.



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