Genetic Theories of Aggression

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  • Created by: PickJ
  • Created on: 14-05-14 16:32
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  • Genetic Theories of Aggression
    • AO1
      • MAOA-L Gene Variant
        • This gene is believed to produce an enzyme called      MAO-A which   regulates serotonin, dopamine and noradrenaline
          • Individuals predisposed to aggressive behaviour inherit a genetic abnormality
            • MAOA-L, they don't produce enough  MAO-A
              • Individual likely to act aggressively due to excess levels of serotonin, dopamine and noradrenaline
    • AO2
      • Supporting Evidence
        • Family studies support the role of MAOA-L in aggressive behaviour
          • Brunner
            • Conducted a study of violence in a family with genetic abnormalities
              • Observed a family from the Netherlands where males were affected by abnormal aggressive behaviour
                • Studied five males and data was collected from their urine samples every 24 hours
                  • Findings showed signs of a defect in MAO-A mutation in their x chromosome
        • Twin and adoption studies
          • McGue
            • Assessed aggression using personality scale
              • 54 pairs of MZs and 79 pairs of DZs
                • Found that in MZ twins there was an was an accordance of 0.43 for aggressive behaviour, DZs had an accordance of 0.30
          • Hutchings and Mednick
            • Conducted a meta analysis of over 14,000 adoption studies in Denmark
              • Found a positive correlation between number of convictions for criminal violence among biological parents
                • and number of convictions for criminal violence among their sons who were adopted
                  • adds to the validity of the genetic explanation suggesting that the MAOA-L gene variant may not only be an inherited abnormality
                    • but also that genetic similarity to an aggressive relative is an accurate predictor of aggression
        • Animal research studies
          • Case studies on mice genetically engineered to lack MAO-A
            • Mice experienced severe behavioural alterations
              • e.g. being more aggressive during mating
                • Findings suggest that MAOA-L can be accepted as a reliable explanation of aggression,
                  • the findings from animal research studies were consistent with findings from human research studies
    • IDA
      • Gender Bias
        • Research largely based on males making it androcentric
          • Research tends to overlook sex differences, so demonstrates beta bias
            • Disadvantage provides little understanding of aggression in females
              • Likely aggression can be explained differently in females
                • e.g. found that low expression of MAO-A can be linked to higher levels of happiness in females
                  • Due to this gender bias it is difficult to generalise this explanation of aggression to females
                    • therefore considered incomplete


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