Discuss explanations for Institutional Aggression (24 Marks) (35 Minutes)

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  • Discuss explanations for Institutional Aggression (24 Marks) (35 Minutes)
    • There are two main models used to explain the causes of institutional aggression...
      • Importation model
        • AO1: This model states that it is particular characteristics of individuals that affects the likelihood of interpersonal violence occurring.
          • These characteristics include influences such as values, attitudes and experiences regarding people and society
        • Statement about research support
          • Findings of supporting research
            • Link back to the model
              • Statement about challenging + contradictory research
                • Research commentary
                  • Although this model provides us with one possible explanation for IAB, McCorkle (1995) raises the issue that this model fails to provide us with any ideas on how to reduce IAB.
                    • This, alongside the challenging research leads us to our other explanation of IAB.
                      • Deprivation model
                        • AO1: This model states that individual characteristics do not influence AB in prisons, but they are in fact a result of the situation the prisoners are in (the institution) and the subsequent stress + frustration caused, that causes AB
                          • This model does not deny that individual differences (such as cultural norms) have an influence on behaviour, but this is only to an extent. It says that the primary influence is from the experience of the prison itself that leads to IAB
                        • Statement about research support
                          • Findings of supporting research
                            • Link back to the model
                              • Challenging studies
                              • These studies both give support to the idea that it is in fact the prison setting that raises the frequency of IAB, and therefore the DEP model.
                                • Another idea that is supported by the DEP model is the link between crowding and increases of IAB.
                                  • As stated by Gaes & McGuire,who state that overcrowding is the most important cause of prison assaults,
                                    • But, challenging evidence from McCorkle shows that there was little evidence to support the connection between overcrowding/living conditions and IAB.
                                      • Challenging studies
                                      • But, there is a hypothesis that can support both of these pieces of research. Matthews's U-hypothesis.
                                        • This states that there is a curvilinear relationships between the experience of overcrowding and tendency to exhibit AB, as crowding increases, so does IAB, but only up to an optimum point after which it decreases.
                                          • To apply this to the evidence, Gaes's prisons may have been experiencing optimum crowding levels and so there was a high amount of AB, whereas there may have been so much overcrowding in McCorkles prisons that there was a decrease in AB levels.
                            • Zimbardo 1973 - In the Stanford Prison Experiment, Zimbardo found that that the guards exhibited brutal abuse towards the prisoners, who acted very submissively.
                              • The lack of external constraints such as reputation and the peer pressure from other guards coupled with the prison setting may have been the cause for the AB exhibited towards the prisoners
                                • But, we cannot be sure if the aggression shown was due to the prison setting, or the roles given to the individuals. Also, this study was set in 1970s America (immediately giving cultural bias to this study)and the sample used was college males, therefore we cannot generalise the results to IAB in every prison.
                            • Bandura (1973) found that when the actors were dehumanised by being reffered to as 'animals', they were more likely to receive a higher electric shock from the pps
                          • Similarly to the IMP Model, there is a range of research evidence to support this explanation.
                • Contradictory- Delisi (2004) found that in a study of 800 male inmates, there was no evidence that gang membership prior to prison had an bearing on the IAB.
            • Adams (1981) found that younger inmates were more likely to be aggressive than older
            • Harer Steffensmeier (1996) analysed data from 58 US prisons and found that black inmates showed more AB behaviour than white inmates
          • A strength of this model is that it has received a great deal of support from research + studies


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