Psychology - Comparing theories of aggression

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  • The nature-nurture debate
    • Nature
      • As we have seen, the biological side of the discussion says that the way we behave is determined by how our brain and hormones function
      • The brain controls our behaviour, and if it is damaged in some way it can affect how we behave.
      • If we have a hormone imbalance, this can affect our behaviour too.
      • High levels of testosterone can increase aggression according to this theory.
      • Biological side is the nature side of the debate because the cause of aggression comes from within us
      • Limbic system
      • Amygdala
      • Testosterone
      • What we are born with
    • Nurture
      • What we learn from the way we are raised
      • The nurture side of the debate says that our environment causes our behaviour
      • This includes the way we are brought up, the people we learn from and the experiences we have
      • All of these guide us to behave in a certain way
      • Social learning explains how we identify with others and model their behaviour
      • It argues that aggression is caused by the environment in which we live - whether we are exposed to aggressive media or not
      • Observational learning
      • Modelling
      • Identification
      • Vicarious reinforcement
    • Whether children are naturally aggressive or learn aggression from TV and video games is not yet understood. It does seem sensible to explain aggression in terms of a combination of both factors.
    • Maybe biologically aggressive children seek out violent TV and video games, and then copy what they see.  This means that both theories are correct, as both contribute to aggression in children. Nowadays most people believe that it is a combination of nature and nurture that makes us who we are and influences how we act.



A nicely summarised and colourful mind map for Aggression.

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