Social psychological approaches to explaining aggression

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  • Social psychological approaches to explaining aggression
    • Social learning theory
      • Bandura, Ross and Ross; the Bobo doll 1961
        • 72 participants
        • half children exposed to an aggressive model
          • role model was same sex
        • half exposed to non- aggressive role model
          • opposite sex
        • Children taken to a room to play but were only aloud to play for a few minutes
          • children left frustrated
        • once the children were frustrated they were exposed to the bobo doll
        • children who were exposed to the aggressive role model were more likely to show aggression
        • boys showed a greater trend of showing aggressive behaviour when the role model was male
        • laboratory based
          • low ecological validity
          • reduced real life application, parents may hide their children from violence
          • deterministic
            • highlights the consequences of exposing children to violence
            • free will, children capable of logical thoughts
        • culturally biased
          • imposed etic
        • bobo doll was intended for punching
          • knowledge of this could influence the children's behaviour
        • ignored the biological approach
    • Cue arousal
      • Berkowitz and LePage
        • 100 undergraduate students
        • each participant given a confederate
        • In the first condition the participant was given mild electric shocks
          • the number was indicative of the confederates performance on a problem solving task
        • In one group were the angry group who received many shocks, while the other group only received a few
        • the angry group had a shotgun in the room while the other group had a badminton racket
        • they found that the angry group gave more shocks and held down the button for longer
        • artificial environment
          • low ecological validity
        • in subsequent replications of this study no consistent trends have been established
        • cultural and age bias
        • electrical shocks were unethical
    • deindividuation
      • Dieher 1976
        • naturalistic observation
        • 1,300 trick or treating children
        • children were in large groups and their identity was hidden by their costumes
          • more likely to perform antisocial actions such a stealing money or taking too many sweets
        • group reduces the possibility of personal identification which means that behaviour may deviate from normal standards
      • Silke
        • analysed 500 violent attacks in Northern Ireland
        • 206 were of people who were wearing some kind of disguise
        • the severity of the violence was linked to whether the perpetrator was masked or not
      • Watson 1973
        • correlational study
        • 24 cultures
        • warriors disguised their identity though face paint/ garments
        • the more paint the more aggressive
          • eg more likely to kill captives
      • Cannavale et al found a difference response to deindividuation of males and females
        • greater in males
    • relative deprivation
      • many riots have come about due to inequalities between groups of people
      • eg Brixton riots where there was tension between police and an economically deprived
      • due to a difference of opportunities the deprived realise what they lack
      • leads to the aggressive individuals feeling aggressive
      • Wright and Kile
        • the encouragement of social mobility would reduce the effects of relative deprivation
        • if the deprived had more opportunities then aggression would be reduced

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