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BBC 6 minute English-Is aggression useful

BBC 6 minute English-Is aggression useful

BBC 6 minute English-Is aggression useful

   

Transcript of the podcast

NB: This is not a word-for-word transcript

Neil: Hello and welcome to 6 Minute English. I’m Neil

Catherine: … and I’m Catherine. Hello

Neil: Hello, Catherine! I want to know, what sort of things make you feel angry

Catherine: Many things make me feel angry, Neil. But one thing that makes me regularly angry is when people put the wrong rubbish in the wrong bins

Neil: Yes, that makes me angry too

Catherine: Does it

Neil: It’s not very thoughtful, is it

Catherine: Not really, no

Neil: So, you may feel angry about people putting rubbish in the wrong bin but do you get aggressive? That’s behaving in an angry way, looking like you want to argue or even fight with someone

Catherine: No. I don’t really get aggressive about wheelie bins, to be honest

Neil: Well I tend to control my anger too and keep calm but I have been known to react – especially if someone is damaging some of my property

Catherine: Wow. Really

Neil: Yeah. I can’t stand it. It comes out of the blue – it’s completely unexpected. But I’m glad to say I feel quite calm today

Catherine: I’m glad to hear it, Neil. But today we are talking about aggression and we’ll look at what we can learn about human aggression by some examples from the animal kingdom

Neil: That’s right. Now, are you ready to answer today’s quiz question, Catherine

Catherine: In a very calm and non-aggressive way, I would like you to give me the question

Neil: When attacked, what does a baboon typically do to show aggression? Does it

a) beat its chest

b) yawn and show its teeth? or

c) laugh and roll on the ground

Catherine: Well… I’d love to think of an angry baboon laughing and rolling on the ground. But I’m going to go for b) yawn and show its teeth

Neil: OK. Well, we’ll see if you right or wrong a bit later on. Now, Catherine, how do you usually act when you’re angry or upset about something

Catherine: I generally let people know how I feel to be honest. I don’t go over the top and hit people, but also I don’t sulk about things. And sulk means when you refuse to smile or speak because you want to let people know you are upset about something

Neil: Sulking is quite childish, isn’t it Catherine

Catherine: It is. Are you a sulker, Neil

Neil: I don’t sulk, I don’t think. But as I said I don’t often get angry. I’m a very well balanced and grounded person, Catherine

Catherine: Really, very good. I’m pleased to hear it, Neil. Anyway, well balanced means sensible and in control of your emotions. And grounded means mentally and emotionally stable. Is that what you’re saying, Neil

Neil: Yes, that’s me. But let’s listen to Professor Simon Underdown talking about human behaviour. Can you spot a phrase that means the opposite side to an idea

INSERT Simon Underdown, principal lecturer in human evolution at Oxford Brookes University

One of the things humans are incredibly good at doing is being psychologists. We’re very good at reading situations that we find ourselves in […] We’re extremely good at picking up on signals. What we can then do is trigger the appropriate response. If it’s an empathetic response we may well need to then be sympathetic, we maybe need to show our sort of fluffy side if you want. But on the flipside from an evolutionary point of view the reason we are so successful and we’re still here is because we can, and when we need to, react aggressively to situations

Neil: Did you spot the phrase? Flipside means the opposite side to an idea. And being aggressive is the flipside of being fluffy and sympathetic

Catherine: Fluffy, by the way, is an adjective we often use to describe soft animal fur or feathers on young animals or soft toys for children. But here fluffy means behaviour that is soft and unthreatening so it’s the opposite of aggressive

Neil: And if you are empathetic you are able to share or understand another person’s feelings. That sounds like me! I’m an excellent empathizer, aren’t I, Catherine

Catherine: Neil, you are absolutely totally full of … empathy

Neil: Nice pause

Catherine: Thank you

Neil: Now, Simon also talks about humans being good at reading situations. What does that mean, Catherine

Catherine: It means understanding what’s going on. For example, if a male gorilla is screaming and breaking branches, other gorillas will probably see this as a show of aggression

Neil: The male gorilla screams and breaks branches, signalling to the other gorillas that he’s angry or upset. Signal here means a noise or a movement that gives someone information

Catherine: And the male gorilla’s signal triggers a response from the other gorillas. This means one thing causes another thing to happen

Neil: And when a man suddenly punches another man in the face, what signal does that send

Catherine: Well, I think for me that would be a signal to leave

Neil: Yes. Quickly

Catherine: Yes, indeed. And humans usually give signals just like the gorillas do, before they start a fight. So people might shout, or gesture with their arms. And a gesture is a movement made with arms or head to give someone else information. Now then, Neil. Let’s have our quiz question answer please

Neil: OK, OK, stop waving your arms around. So I asked: When attacked, what does a baboon typically do to show aggression? Does it

a) beat its chest

b) yawn and show its teeth? or

c) laugh and roll on the ground

Catherine: And I said b

Neil: That’s right. Well done! Now let’s hear today’s words once again

Catherine: They are

out of the blue aggressive sulk well balanced grounded flipside fluffy empathetic reading situations signal triggers a response gesture

Neil: Well, that’s the end of today’s 6 Minute English. I hope you felt it was a well-balanced show! Check out more programmes at bbclearningenglish.com. Join us again soon

Both: Bye

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