Social Psychology - Aggression

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  • Aggression
    • Definitions
      • Aggression = the public, the media, even psychologists: all have a tendency to stigmatise and pathologies individuals involved in threatening behaviour as psychologically and sociology abnormal or deficient
      • Aversive = something that arouses a strong dislike
      • Soc con = a theory of knowledge in sociology that examines the development of jointly constructed understandings of the world that form the basis for shared assumptions about reality
    • Aggression
      • There are many ways of defining aggression, but it usually depends on the theory the authors are trying to explain (helps to narrow it down)
      • Many different forms of aggression - two definitions in slide don't include self-harm, collective aggression, verbal aggression etc. (see Dickerson 2012)
      • Dimensions of aggression (Anderson and Huesman 2003)
        • Aggression falls on a spectrum which has 4 variables/dimensions
        • Two types of aggression - hostile and instrumental. Hostile = impulsive and instrumental = premeditated
        • But what about indirect aggression?
      • There is a dichotomy between person and situation
    • Evolutionary approach - Lorenz (1966)
      • Aggression comes from within the person
      • Adaptive theory - aggression is an evolutionary response
      • Helps with the self and genes therefore increases survival chances
    • Frustration-Aggression Hypothesis
      • Dollard et al. (1959) original theorists (classic)!
        • Al frustrations lead to aggression - Doods and Sears (1939) - see Dickerson 2012
      • Miller (1941) questions this theory, stating that frustration does not always lead to aggression, but there is always frustration involved in aggression (it is just not the cause)
      • Doesn't have to be real frustrations - these frustrations can be perceived, for example Catalano et al. (2002) found a positive correlation between job loses and violence
      • Aggression comes from the situation
    • Aversive stimuli - Berkowitz (1989)
      • An unpleasant source acts as a cue, which activates a hostile memory or idea
      • Aggression is an automatic response
      • Aggression is in the situation
      • Test this through hand in ice bucket
    • Excitation transfer - Zillman (1972)
      • This is vey narrow theory
      • States the theories mentioned previously (aversive stimuli frustration and evolutionary) have no purpose or meaning involved
      • This theory gives an overlap between the person and the situation
      • We have a physiological arousal (from a previous situation) which we misattribute to a provoking situation and this then brings about aggression
    • How to study aggression?
      • Experimental mainly
      • Have a trigger that will then make the participant feel aggressive
      • But how do you trigger aggression? And how to measure this?
        • Ice bucket
        • Electric shocks
        • Hot sauce
        • Hurting bugs
        • Dolls
        • Measure heart rate (physiological) while watching a violent film
        • Measuring size of gun participant takes
        • Questionnaire
        • Scenario
    • General aggression model - Anderson and Bushman (2002)
      • Something occurs which will affect how you see the situation that creates the aggression The person interacts with the situation and then three things will affect it - cognition (media - violence is more available now), affect (emotion) and arousal (physiological response). We then appraise the situation and make a decision of how to sct (thoughtful action or impulsive action).
      • How we dealt with the situation the fisrt times affects how we deal with it differenlt the next time it happens
    • Critique
      • Evolutionary = difficult to test
      • Frustration-aggression - vague and has evolved since
      • How we you measure aggression? Lacks ecological validity; individualistic; context dependent; aggression is encouraged and allowed in a research setting
    • Deindividuation - Zimbardo (1962); Diener (year)?
      • Loss of identity due to the group membership
      • Critique of both theories
        • Social identity deindividuation effect (SIDE)
          • Deindividuation - Zimbardo (1962); Diener (year)?
            • Loss of identity due to the group membership
            • Critique of both theories
              • Social identity deindividuation effect (SIDE)
                • States that an individual does not lose their identity but changes it to fit with the group
                • This is not just related to aggression, can be for pro-social behaviour
              • Support lacking
              • Still individualistic
              • Meaning behind aggression?
          • States that an individual does not lose their identity but changes it to fit with the group
          • This is not just related to aggression, can be for pro-social behaviour
        • Support lacking
        • Still individualistic
        • Meaning behind aggression?
    • Intergroup conflict - Social identity theory
      • Livingstone and Haslam (2008) - chronic conflict
      • General description of SIT and then apply to aggression
      • Critique of both theories
        • Explains conflict but not aggression
        • RCT ignores the conflict/meaning/history of real life groups
    • Realistic Conflict Theory (RCT)
      • Competition for resources
      • Look at psychologist links for critical perspective
      • Critique of both theories
        • Explains conflict but not aggression
        • RCT ignores the conflict/meaning/history of real life groups
    • Critical perspectives
      • Violence is legitimised in the media and video games - find studies!
      • How is purpose constructed? See Benson et al. (2003)
      • What is the reason for aggression? See Day et al. (2003)
      • Agression as a social construction See Courtenay (2000)

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