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Introduction & Social Explanations of Aggression
It is defined as a hostile or destructive tendency or behaviour.

There are several possible reasons:
1. Legacy of an evolutionary past
2. Biochemical/ neural causes
3. Learnt behaviour
4. Lack of cognitive


This was proposed by Bandura and Walters (1963)…

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acting as told rather than because of the factors of the study. Noble (1975) reported that one child
said "Look Mummy, there's that doll we have to hit" on arrival. The studies also use a doll rather
than a real person, lacking mundane realism. In response to these criticisms, Bandura…

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night with a large crowd that was at a distance from the jumper. The events happening at night
added to the anonymity. Collectively, these features were likely to produce a state of
Deindividuation in members of the crowd, which made them behave in a way that they ordinarily
may not.…

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Suggest males maybe more prone to disinhibition than females

P: Doesn't always lead to antisocial behaviour, can increase prosocial behaviour
E: Prentice Dunn (1990): dependent on situational factors
E: Cues influence behaviour
E: Therefore, it cannot be certain that deindividuation will lead to antisocial behaviour.



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Importation model: Interpersonal factors. IRWIN & CRESSEY (1962) claim prisoners aren't
`blank slates'. Bring social histories and traits. Influences actions in prison.
Gang membership factors: ALLENDER AND MARCELL (2003) gang members account for
large number of the crimes. Huff (1998): members 10x more likely to commit a murder, 3x

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can also explain the modern day problem of violence towards immigrants. Research suggests that
personality may play an important role, specifically social dominance orientation (SDO) which is a
personality variable which predicts social and political attitudes. People who are high in SDO
endorse social hierarchies. Esses et al (2008) has…

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produced from the amygdala depend o the normal functioning of the hypothalamus and PAG but
PAG is not dependent on the others.

The amygdala has long been associated with aggressive behaviour in both animals and humans. A
link was establish by Kluver & Bucy (1930s). They removed part of the…

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mice testes. They also injected mice with testosterone and observed increased levels of
Vom Saal (1983) showed the influences of testosterone in aggression by looking at the
development of rats in the womb. It was found that those female rats that lay closer to male rats
in the womb…

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The Role of MAOA
A gene responsible for producing a protein called monoamine oxidase A (MAOA) has been
associated with aggressive behaviour. MAOA regulates the metabolism of serotonin in the brain
and low levels are associated with impulsivity and aggression.
In the 1980s, a study of a Dutch…

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Biological Explanations of Aggression Genetic Factors
Essay Plan (8 + 16)

Gene MAOA has been associated with aggressive behaviour
It regulates the metabolism of serotonin in the brain, low levels associated with aggression
1980s study, BRUNNER ET AL (1993): Dutch family studied, males were aggressive, many
involved in a…


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