Social Learning Theory of Aggression

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  • Social Learning Theory of Aggression
    • There are three ways in which we learn behaviour which are:
      • Mental Represention: Children form a mental representation of events and possible rewards/ punishments.
        • If the opportunity arises, the child will repeat the behaviour if the reward is greater than punishment.
      • Observation: watching the behaviour of role models and imitating the behaviour (Bandura)
        • Vicarious reinforcementchildren observe and learn about impacts of other people's behaviour.
      • Product of Behaviour
        • Self-efficacy - children form expediencies of aggression and develop confidence in aggressive acts
        • Maintenance through experience - If a child is rewarded they are likely to repeat the behaviour. (bullying)
    • Bobo Doll study
      • Boys and girls from 3 to 5. Half watched an adult being aggr. with a bobo doll and the other half did not
      • The models struck the bobo doll on the head with a mallet, kicking it and shouting at it.
      • Then both groups went into a room with a bobo doll and other toys.
      • Children in the aggr. condition imitated the aggr. behaviour of the model
      • Children in the non aggr, group exhibited virtually no aggr. behaviour
    • Evalutation
      • Kung San tribe in South Africa have little aggr. because they don' punish or reward aggr behaviour
      • The APA believes that if aggr. behaviour can be learned than it can be unlearned the same way
      • Gee and Leith (2007) - North American hockey players more aggr. than people from other countries
      • Inconsistency - school is more punishment and friends is more status
      • Lack of realism - bobo doll is not living so may not reflect real life behaviour


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