Aggression: Hormonal mechanisms

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  • Created by: aliyah007
  • Created on: 08-06-16 12:05
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  • Aggression: Hormonal mechanisms
    • Testosterone
      • In both males and females but on average adult men produce 10X more testosterone than adult females
        • Psychologists suggest that this is why males are often described as being more aggressive than females
      • Thought to influence aggression as it affects certain parts of the brain such as the amygdala that are associated with controlling aggression
    • Wagner
      • When a male mouse was castrated (causing a reduction in their testosterone levels) that their overall levels of aggression decreased
        • If the mouse was given testosterone then their aggression levels increased again.
        • Anthropomorphism. Animalistic research - generalisability
          • Evolutionary psychologists would argue that the same basic principle applies across all species. so findings CAN be generalised
      • suggests that testosterone is an important hormone implicated in aggressive behaviour
    • Dabbs
      • 692 male inmates at a prison in the USA
        • large sample, inmates = aggressive potential, culturally biased + gender bias
      • testosterone levels measured via saliva & inmates coded from prison records
      • Those imprisoned for committing violent acts were more likely to have higher levels of testosterone whereas those convicted for crimes such as theft or drugs showed lower levels of testosterone.
        • Those with highest testosterone levels were also more likely to have violated prison rules regarding confrontational behaviour
    • Deterministic: states that aggressive behaviour is fully caused by biological factors
      • fails to acknowledge free will
      • suggests that we have no control over our actions which is controversial to our legal system
    • Correlation does not = causation
    • Oversimplifies the complex emotional response of aggression fails to consider other possible influencing factors such as environmental factors
    • Scientific validity


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