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Aggression ­ Social Learning Theory

Aggression: feelings of anger or
antipathy resulting in hostile or violent
behavior; readiness to attack or

theories propose causes of aggressive
behaviour arise out of our interactions with
others in our world.'

Social Learning Theory (SLT) is defined as learning behaviour

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Children are more likely to copy
behaviour when

Rewards are valued
Model is similar in sex, age
and interests
Model is charismatic and
Task imitated is not too easy
or too difficult
Individuals have low
self-esteem or low
confidence in own abilities

Bandura perceived family members and media as…

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Imitation of film-mediated aggressive

Who? 66 nursery children into 3 groups
What? All groups watched a film where an
adult model kicked and punched a Bobo
doll with aggressive comments. After
watching an additional scene
demonstrated the consequences.

Condition 1: Aggressive model was
neither rewarded or punished
Condition 2:…

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Evaluation of the Social Learning Theory

It is able to explain cultural differences ­ The `culture of violence'
theory (Wolfgang and Ferracuti 1967) proposes that some cultures
and subcultures emphasize and model aggressive behaviour. Other
cultures emphasize and model non-aggressive behaviour and so are
more likely to produce individuals with…

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US act as powerful evidence to support dominant role played by
learning. Interestingly societies where non-aggressive behaviour is
more prevalent e.g. Pygmies of Central Africa there are few distinctions
made between males and females ­ differences between roles of males
and females DO exist in these societies but no attempt…


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