Psychological Theories of Aggression

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  • BOBO DOLL STUDY
    • Bandura, Ross + Ross (1961): observes aggressive and non-aggressive behaviour in children
  • Ethics
    • Evaluation of SLT
      • Social Learning Theory [SLT]
        • Suggests we learn by observing others. We learn the specifics of such behaviour (e.g. its forms, situations it occurs and targets directed.
        • Doesn't ignore biological factors- person's biological make-up creates potential for aggression (expressions are learned).
        • Children watch the behaviour of role models and imitate it.
        • SKINNER- Operant conditioning suggests learning occurs through direct reinforcement
        • Children observe and learn about consequences of aggressive behaviour by watching others being reinforced or punished (vicarious reinforcement)
        • Observing consequences of aggressive behaviour and gradually learns what is considered appropriate conduct. Thus they learn behaviour and whether it is worth repeating.
        • Bandura claimed children must form mental representations of events in their social environment. Child must also represent possible rewards/ punishments in terms of expectancies of future outcomes.
        • When appropriate opportunities occur, child will display learned behaviour as long as expectation of reward is greater than expectation of punishment.
        • If child is rewarded, they are likely to repeat actions in similar situaitions. Those who bully successfully will thus attach considerable value to aggression.
  • Psychological Theories of Aggression- SLT

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