Aggression Revision Table

Complete with AO1, AO2/AO3/IDA

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  • Created on: 29-05-14 15:35
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Social Social Learning Theory Deindividuation
The SLT states that aggressive behaviour is acquire as States that aggression comes about when wearing a uniform or
AO1 children observe the aggressive behaviour, and through mask, or being a member of a crowd. All these factors cause the
vicarious reinforcement imitates the behaviour, as the role individual to lose their identity, being anonymous, or merging into
model whom performed the behaviour got the crowd as one, in doing so, they lose their personal
rewarded/experienced positive consequences. The SLT responsibility, as well as moral values, allowing them to `freely
therefore suggests that if a child observes a role model, indulge' in the aggressive act, and often take the `identity' of the
such as a teacher, parent or even fictional character, masked character, group or their morals, diminishing their own
perform in an aggressive manner, the child is likely to imitate identity.
this behaviour
Supporting research ­ Weber et al children playing Supporting research ­ Zimbardo's Stanford Prison face
AO2 violent video games, stimulated areas of the brain value, deindividuation could explain aggressive behaviour of
associated with aggressive behaviour, which (according to students playing the `guards', as they wore uniforms and dark
SLT) would lead to vicarious reinforcement, as behaviour sunglasses, which masked their identity, explaining the
rewarded in the game with points or `money', thus aggressive and violent acts effectively in terms of the
encouraging behaviour to be repeated. Due to the deindividuation theory. However, further analysis brings about
empiricism (fMRI) of the research, the results are reliably criticisms of the theory, as prisoners also wore uniforms
obtained, allowing for strong supporting evidence for the (smocks), and were numbered = deindividuation and cause
SLT, and in turn, generalisation of results. However, some aggression, INSTEAD, became obedient and apathetic,
may argue that brain activity is down to individuals biology, suggesting other factors affecting aggression. Additionally,
game stimulating reward pathway, reinforcing behaviour with students simply conforming to roles expected of them? Including
the `high' obtained, similar to addiction... SO, is aggression guards following Zimbardo's instructions for them to enforce their
just an addiction to this `high' rather than SLT? Additionally, authority. SO... deindividuation can't explain aggressive
individual could be conforming to the role of the character behaviour, or perhaps only small role (eg guards), but role of
rather than their own aggressive behaviour being carried out conformity appears to explain it much better, questioning

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SLT would therefore not be a suitable whether the theory can actually be used as an explanation of
explanation for aggression in humans. aggression
Reallife Application ­Finding by Weber et al which Implications ­ Modern society has growing number of internet
support the SLT, allow for the theory have possible reallife users, theoretically, sitting behind a computer screen
applications. Vulnerability of children, so target age ranges anonymously would allow individual to behave in an aggressive
regarding aggression. Government intervention already with manner.…read more

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­ successfully explain human
Both of these theories take the psychological approach towards aggression, adopting the nurture side of the debate, thus both theories ignoring
human biology ­ a major flaw in both theories. Both theories can also be challenged regarding the cause of aggression, as analysis of the two
also points to individual's conformity to certain aggressive behaviour.…read more

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Cortisol is predominantly associated with stress and
response towards stressors, and various possibilities low
ANS arousal, so acting aggressively to create a stressful
situation possibility of cortisol mediating aggression.…read more

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SO... can't explain therefore now be applicable to females, can't assume
females, only males. generalisation, therefore low ecological validity. Males are highly
unusual, with aggressive behaviour being different to everyday
Reallife Application ­ Zitzmann found link between aggression, could in fact contribute to understanding.
testosterone and aggression in athletes who may SO... gender bias associated with supporting research of
supplement their testosterone to excessively high levels.…read more

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Implications ­ implications in legal system, as research by
Brunner et al, who found low levels of MAOA on X chromosome
of all violent men, whereby sample was a violent family. Serious
implications, lawyers of Stephen Mobley in USA requested gene
screening, finding he had this genetic defect causing low levels
of MAOA. SO... Mobley's sentence reduced by 1 year, judge
acknowledging presence of `crime gene'. Raises issue of safety
of other individuals, as if Mobley is predisposed to be
aggressive, surely he would reoffend.…read more

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Many of these individuals live in subcultures where behaviour towards other prisoners and/or guards. This is
aggression is valued, respected, and reinforced, and such illustrated in reallife, with UK prisons experiencing
attitudes are important in prisons. Assumption has been overcrowding and Johnston found that this overcrowding
confirmed by a number of studies, including Adams black correlated with increased interprisoner violence, selfharm and
inmates, when compared to whites, and are more likely to suicide.…read more

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SO, evidence that political pressures to reverse these changes, why should
explanation holds, which is flawed for being androcentric in criminals experience luxury?
its research anyway, could simply be due to increased Nijman et al increased personal space failed to decrease
levels of testosterone, and the fight for `alpha male'. So...…read more

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So... eclectic approach possibly explain
institutional aggression better, by taking psychological factors
such as stress and frustration caused by environment, along
with our biology, thus acknowledging the complexity of human
behaviour.…read more

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