Grace Dickerson

Reactive Forces

The content and ideas presented aim to explore how societal teachings, both direct and indirect, have contributed to the difference in instinctual aggressive behaviors between women and men. Reactive Forces uses multiple media elements to explore this theme. It uses photography and video to provide impactful visuals, and a display of journal articles and media documents to compliment the visuals.  

My time at the University of Kansas has been split between pursuing a degree in photography and a degree in applied behavioral science. An early topic covered in applied behavioral science classes is aggressive behaviors and how they differ between sexes. My studies in applied behavioral science have supplied me with a textbook education on this subject, but I want to use my creative experience to explore the emotional and visual matter of this subject. I chose to focus on aggression because it is reactive behavior, rather than an emotion like anger or sadness, and I can look back on past experiences and patterns that reinforced these behaviors. I am using photography to create and capture scenes of realistic aggressive behaviors and pair them with examples of case studies, research journals, and real events that expose how those behaviors were both created and reinforced. My goal is to create a visual understanding of the history of these behavioral responses. The idea of analyzing the difference in aggressive behaviors between men and women is not a groundbreaking topic, but I believe I can use photography to illustrate this idea in a new way that challenges my audience to think about this topic from a new point of view. My focuses are centered on a sense of discovery, understanding, and reflection.