Aggresion notes. USEFUL!

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UNIT 3 ­ TOPICS IN PSYCHOLOGY
SOCIAL LEARNING THEORY
KEY WORDS
- Role Models: someone who you look up to.
- Observe: watching someone carefully and attentively.
- Vicarious reinforcement: learning through consequences and observing others being reinforced for the behaviour.
- Mental representation: creating a mental image in the mind.
- Self efficacy: the belief that we can perform competitively in a given situation.
- Imitation: copying someone/something.
- Direct reinforcement: gaining a reward for the behaviour, and so leading to repetition.
- Motivation: the desire or willingness of someone to do something.
KEY STUDIES
- Bandura (1): testing the idea of vicarious reinforcement. 3 conditions: (1) saw model being punished, (2) saw model being
rewarded, (3) there were no consequences for the model.
> Found kids who saw the role model being rewarded showed greatest levels of imitation and those who saw the model
punished showed the lowest levels of imitation.
- Bandura (2): Testing idea of direct reinforcement. Same 3 conditions but this time ALL kids were offered a direct reward for
imitating the aggressive role model.
> Found ALL children imitated the role model to a similar degree (hardly any differences). It didn't matter whether the model
was punished or rewarded. This suggests that although direct reinforcement is important in motivating children to imitate the
aggressive acts they see, aggression can still be learnt through simply watching others (vicarious reinforcement). This has
important implications for the media models and parents.
METHOD ISSUES
- Ethical issues ­ harming the children (teaching them to be aggressive)
- Demand characteristics ­ laboratory experiment
- Lacks ecological validity
- Using an artificial stimuli (bobo doll was made to be hit)
- Lacks Population validity ­ small sample made up of only kids from US
- Rating of aggression ­ researcher bias and interpreter bias
ATTITIONAL SUPPORT
- Bandura's study is further supported by Patterson who found that very aggressive children are raised in homes of high
aggression, little affection, and little positive feedback. This suggests that there is wider academic credibility for the important
role played by played when forming/developing behaviour in their children.
- Although this research only involved children there is research relating to adults aggression by Phillips who found that daily
homicide (murder) rates in the US almost always increase in the week following a major boxing match. This large and varied
amount of research suggests that the learning theory provides a explanation to why viewers were imitating behaviour they
watched and that social learning is evident in adults as well as children.
- Bandura: replicated his original study with a real clown and found the same results as with the bobo doll.
- APA: 8 year old children who watched more violent TV were also more violent when reassessed at 22 years old. This
suggests that aggression can be learned thru direct reinforcement.
STRENGTHS ­ SYNOPTIC CONTENT
- Can Explain individual differences: differences between 2 different individuals, it can also explain individual differences in
behaviour of the same person in 2 different situations.
- This theory can explain cultural, gender and individual differences in aggressive behaviour. For example, among the Kung San
culture aggression is very rare and this could be because aggression is not modelled and never rewarded. Furthermore
Wolfgang and Ferracuti purpose that in large societies, some culture develop norms that sanction violence to a greater degree
than the dominant cultures. This can therefore be used to explain culture differences in aggressive and be generalised to a
wider population.
- SIMPLE TO UNDERSTAND AND TEST.
- IDA: Can be used to understand how we become aggressive and therefore help to reduce crime rates and media modelling
of aggression
WEAKNESS ­ SYNOPTIC CONTENT
- Difficult to establish causal link between learning and aggression because of the number of extraneous variables that are
difficult to control.
- Gender Biased: does not explain the extent to which learning takes place in each gender or HOW girls learn compared to
boys.
- A major weakness of SLT is that it is over simplistic and ignores the role of free will in human behaviour as well as the role of
other factors, such as hormones or genes. Evidence have shown that hormones like testosterone as well as genetics acts as a
primary cause of aggression and it is evident from everyday experiences that some people choose not to show aggression
even if they have learnt from their role models that it is a simple way of resolving problems. This suggests that the SLT is
determinist as it fails to explain ignores genetics ignores testosterone, ignores thought processes and neurochemicals.
- Deterministic: ignores freewill and assumes we have no control over our learning experiences or behaviour
DEINDIVIDUATION
KEY WORDS

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UNIT 3 ­ TOPICS IN PSYCHOLOGY
- Anonymity: identity is hidden such as face or name
- Reduced public self-awareness: they stop worrying about the consequences of the behaviour and the judgement about
others.
- Loss of inhibitions: moral norms or thoughts that stop/inhibit the individual from behaving in anti-social behaviour.
- Reduced private self-awareness: loss of self-focus and so stops monitoring their own behaviour (self-evaluation).…read more

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UNIT 3 ­ TOPICS IN PSYCHOLOGY
- Institutional aggression: violet behaviour that exists within some institution and groups. Also that it is able to from collective
violence between social groups.
- The atrocities that were committed by American soldiers at the Abu Ghraib detention centre and by British soldiers in Baha
Mousa.
- Private Andrei Sychev's brutal beating by older soldiers at the Chelyabinsk Military School.
- Rwandan Genocide: disagreements between the majority Hutus and minority Tutsis.
- The Holocaust: mass murder of approx.…read more

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UNIT 3 ­ TOPICS IN PSYCHOLOGY
and mass killings.
ADDITIONAL SUPPORT
- There is historical evidence for the power of dehumanisation to influence mass violence against specific groups in society.
For e.g. the actions of Nazi's against Jews during the Holocaust, where Nazi propaganda referred to Jews as the `Jewish
disease'. And in the Rwandan genocide in 1994, the minority Tutsi were referred to as `inyenzi' (cockroaches) by the majority
Hutu, and their murder referred to as `the work'.…read more

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UNIT 3 ­ TOPICS IN PSYCHOLOGY
fairly inconclusive.
- Another problem is that there is research by COUPPIS & KENEDY who found that dopamine is NOT the cause of aggression
but the consequence of it. He studied mice and found that they would only commit aggressive acts in order for dopamine to
be released & to experience pleasure.
TESTOSTERONE ­ HORMONAL MECHANISMS
- Influences limbic system which affects emotions and this can then lead to aggression due to overstimulation of
testosterone.…read more

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UNIT 3 ­ TOPICS IN PSYCHOLOGY
variants in aggression can be explained in terms of genetic factors.
- Adoption studies can help to entangle the relative contributions of environment and heredity in aggression. If a positive
correlation is found between an adopted child's aggressive behaviour and that of a biological parent, this implies a genetic
effect. If the correlation is strong between the adopted child and their rearing (I.e. adoptive) family, then this suggests
environmental influences are stronger.…read more

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UNIT 3 ­ TOPICS IN PSYCHOLOGY
environment, then it could be that they have a concordance for aggression due to something they have learnt through nurture,
rather than because of their identical genes. SO: It cannot be concluded the evidence from the twin study fully supports
genetic explanations for aggression.
- Also, there is never 100% concordance for aggression between MZ twins, so there must be some element of another factor
involved in determining aggression, rather than pure genetics.…read more

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UNIT 3 ­ TOPICS IN PSYCHOLOGY
her, preventing cuckoldry and infidelity.
- Lalumeire found that some men will carry out partner rape when the risk of cuckoldry is high. This implies that males
behaviour is adaptive because he try to put off his partner from cheating him for other males and also if the males finds out
that she slept with another mate, he will try to rape her ion order to fertilise her egg, before the other males sperm does.…read more

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UNIT 3 ­ TOPICS IN PSYCHOLOGY
enabled our ancestors to avoid attack, ad so leave behind more offspring. It is evolutionary advantageous to be wary of
something which is not known to us ad to display aggressions when faced with something which could potentially be a treat
to our survival or reproduction. Aggression displayed as a direct result of Xenophobia would enable that the in-group is
protected and would send a signal to out- group that the in group us prepared to defend itself.…read more

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