Aggression (social psychological theories)

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  • Aggression
    • Social Learning Theory (SLT)
      • Bandura (1962)-our biology creates potential for aggression.
        • Expression of aggression is learned by observation and imitation of role models.
      • Aggression is learnt via...
        • DIRECT EXPERIENCE (you are rewarded for your aggression)
        • VICARIOUS EXPERIENCE (someone else is rewarded for their violence).
      • Recipricol determinism
        • ENVIRON-MENT OF ANGER
          • HOSTILE BEHAVIOUR
            • HOSTILE THINKING
          • HOSTILE THINKING
      • Factors that affect imitation:
        • Character-isitics of the model: status, power, similarity-all increase the likelihood of imitation.
        • Self-efficacy: the beleif that a behaviour is within an observers ability to perform.
        • Conditions for imitation:
          • Attention (affected by attractiveness and status.
          • Retention (remem-bering)
          • Reproduction
          • Motivation
      • Mental Represen-tation
        • A child must form mental images of events in the social environment
          • Expectaions of future outcomes = rewards & punishments.
          • Expectation of reward must exceed expectation of punishment if behaviour is to be repeated.
      • Evaluation
        • Does SLT explain adult behaviour as well?
        • Phillips (1986)- the week after a boxing match aired in the USA, the murder rate went up
          • Deterministic, maybe aggressive people watch boxing, correlation not causation.
        • Can explain aggressive behaviour in the absence of direct reinforcement
          • Explains Bobo Doll findings
        • Can explain differences in aggressive behaviour within and between individuals.
        • Context-dependent learning-people learn that aggression is actually ok sometimes.
        • The IKung San tribe- (never witnessed violence) view aggression in a completely negative light, therefore aggressive behaviour is v. rare.
    • Social Psychological theory
      • Deindivid-uation theory (Zimbardo, 1969).
        • The nature of DIV
          • Le Bon (1985) - a 'collective mind' takes hold in a crowd, individual loses self-control, mob rules.
          • Reber and Reber (2001)-the loss of ones sense of individuality leads to weakened constraints, e.g. crowds, masks, large groups etc.
        • The process of DIV
          • Lowered self-evaluation
          • Primitive and doesnt conform to societies standards.
          • Less concern of evaluation by others.
        • Reduced private awareness.
          • Prentice-Dunn and Rogers (1982)-reduced self-awareness is more important than anonymity.
            • Being in a large crowd reduces the need to act according to values and beliefs.
        • Diener (1976)-Trick or Treat.
          • Naturalistic observation of 1,300 children in the USA at halloween.
          • Children in large groups wearing costumes were more likely to behaveanti-socially (e.g. stealing sweets).
            • Correlation not causation
      • Silke (2003) looked at violent attacks in N.Ireland-out of 500 attacks, 206 were carried out by people in the same disguise.
        • The severity of the incident was linked to whether or not the perpetuator wore a mask or not.
      • Crowds arent always bad!
        • Bloodstein (2003)-Those who suffered with a stutter showed fewer of these problems when wearing a mask.
        • Computer-mediated communication (e.g. email + text) helps people as there is no need for emba-rrassment.
      • Evaluation
        • Too simplistic to suggest that aggression is due to lowerin inhibitions.
        • No consistant research
        • Behaviour change when in a group may be more to do with norms than anything else.
      • Zimbardo (1969)
        • 4 female under-graduates
        • Deliver electric shocks to another to 'aid learning'.
        • Half of the participants wore hoods, sat in separrate cubicle and were never refferred to by name.
        • The other half wore normal clothes and name tags.
        • Findings: those who wore hoods shocked the 'learner' for twice as long as the other group.
          • Further findings: those woth name tags gave a different level of shock depending on how the girl was described.
        • Evaluation
          • Gender bias
          • Small sample
          • Unethical
          • Deception
          • Determinism
          • Investigates the causes of aggression
        • Conclusion: de-individuation significantly increases aggression

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