Institutional aggression

  • Created by: Jack
  • Created on: 29-05-15 17:04
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  • Institutional aggression (IA)
    • AO1
      • IA is aggression between or withing groups (e.g. police, schools, prisons)
        • Using prison as example, IA can be individualistic or situational
          • Individualistic says aggression is already present in the individuals due to personality.
            • Irwin and Cressey made 'importation model', which said that prisons are aggressive places because the people inside them are aggressive (which is probably why they are there in the first place)
          • Situational says that the prison environment is most influential because it causes stress, anxiety, fear, frustration, etc
            • Factors like overcrowding and dehumanisat-ion make this worse
          • Another idea is that initiation rituals could be why prisons are aggressive, as they can be key to status maintenance and showing commitment to the group.
            • The cognitive-dissonance theory suggests that people see such rituals as wrong to start with, but change their beliefs to make them more acceptable.
    • AO2
      • STUDIES
        • WANG AND KELLER - high security prisons house more aggressive prisoners, and there is more IA overall.
          • Supports individualistic theory as the prisoners are making the institution aggressive.
        • ZIMBARDO (Stanford prison study) - found very high IA in normal people, so the prison environment must be causing the extreme aggression.
          • Supports situational theory and contradicts individualistic theory.
      • DEBATES
        • DETERMIN-ISM
          • Either personality or the environment WILL cause IA
            • Which is why Wang and Keller's, and Zimbardo's studies is good support
          • Individualistic is nature, as the person's nature is causing the behaviour, not the surroundings.
            • Situational is more nurture because the environment as causing the behaviours.
        • All the findings are purely correlational
          • But this is a good thing because we can compare the results between separate institutions, and against their previous data.
        • Very good mundane realism as both done in real life prisons
          • Therefore high external validity and generalisabili-ty to other prison institutions
          • But Zimbardo's had lower mundane realism as the participants wouldn't normally be in a prison.
            • This actually makes the results of this study support the situational approach even more.
        • Huge ethical issues with Zimbardo
          • There were A LOT of parts that involved physical and psychological harm.


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