Chapter 5. Aggression, Target Fixation, and the Crashes They Cause

Of all the human fear reactions, aggression (the fight response) is most dangerous. When a person cannot safely flee or safely freeze, the person attacks. The expression is “fight like a cornered rat,” but a cornered human is far more deadly. In a physical fight with a wild animal or another human, aggression is the one thing that can keep a person alive. Until the invention of modern weaponry changed the nature of battle, kings were the warriors who personally led their tribes into battle from the front. In small-unit combat, that kind of courage, skill, and aggressive instinct still makes a difference. Soldiers learn to charge machinegun nests, even though some of them will die, ...

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