All Aggression Topics

Every topic in aggression summarised with AO1,2,3. Some notes shortened, others slightly longer. Concise, complete revision notes.

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  • Created by: jess-a-l
  • Created on: 23-02-16 20:40
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Hostile aggression intention to harm another person who doesn't want to be
Prosocial protects society e.g. army
Sanctioned permitted but not normative e.g. women/pepperspray/hunting/police
Instrumental goalorientated ­ aggression used to get something/as a side effect of
trying to get something
Proactive = initiative Reactive = responsive
1) Social Psychological
Social Learning Theory
1. A ttention ­ can only learn through observation if they attend to the models
2. R etention ­ modelling requires the poo to be retained in the LTM, enabling
the behaviour to be retrieved
3. P roduction ­ the individual reproduces the behaviour, and therefore must
have the physical capabilities to do this
4. M otivation ­ an individual expects to receive positive reinforcement for the
modelled behaviour
AO2 Bobo Doll
Children aged 3 ­ 5, half with aggressive model and half nonaggressive
Aggressive model struck the doll on head with mallet/kicked it/ verbally
aggressive e.g. POW
Following exposure to model, children frustrated by being shown
attractive toys they couldn't use
Taken to Bobo doll: aggressive condition reproduced behaviour,
nonaggressive did not become aggressive
DOESN'T EXPLAIN WHY ­ Bandura and Walters' later study found that when
the model was rewarded for aggression, children showed higher aggression in own
play [vicarious learning ­ learning about likely consequences of their behaviour
and adjusting behaviour accordingly ]
ETHICAL ISSUES ­ difficult to test experimental hypotheses about SLT of
aggressive behaviour as this study would no longer be allowed...subsequently
hard to establish scientific credibility of the theory
even well controlled reliable research may lead to the exploitation of children

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GENDER DIFFERENCES ­ boys reproduced more imitative physical
aggression than girls, but did not differ in verbal aggression
Cooper and McKay ­ girls who played aggressive games increased in
aggression but boys didn't suggesting that sources of social learning influence
them differently
CULTURAL DIFFERENCES ­ !Kung San clan do not reward or punish
fighting children, do not use physical punishment, avoid aggressive postures, and
aggression is generally devalued.…read more

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Additionally increased arousal, sensory overload, focus on external events and
altered consciousness due to drugs can affect deindividuation
Zimbardo's Stanford Prison Study
12 guards vs 12 prisoners
Guards deindividuated with military uniforms and reflective sunglasses whilst
prisoners had loose smocks, ID numbers instead of names and were stripped
of privileges
Guards adhered to role, were extremely aggressive and prisoners became very
passive and controlled
Deindividuation lead to a lowered sense of personal identity and encouraged
antisocial behaviour including psychological and physical aggression

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INSUFFICIENT SUPPORT ­ Postmes and Spears metaanalysis of 60 studies
found insufficient support for the theory
Institutional Aggression
Aggression is affected by:
Dispositional factors which are imported
Situational factors which are deprivational to the prisoners
1) Importation Model ­ Irwin and Cressey
Aggression occurs due to the individual characteristic that prisoners bring to prison
Alcohol addiction/aggressive subcultures/young, nonwhite inmates who are
separated from mainstream norms
Three prisoner subcultures
1) Criminal subculture ­ follow values of career criminals e.g.…read more

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5) Security
All of these factors increase stress on inmates and aggression reduces this stress and
may aid the acquisition of these resources.…read more

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Situation [human and physical environment in which the incident takes place]
2) Biological
Neural and hormonal
SEROTONIN a neurotransmitter which enables impulses within the brain to be transmitted
Lower levels found in more violent people
Lowering serotonin in laboratory settings increases their willingness to deliver electric
Mann when serotonin levels are artificially reduced by a drug, participants hostile
responses to a survey increased in males but not females
Cases participants given serotonin were calmed and aggression levels lowered
Popova animals selected for domesticity…read more

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Prefrontal cortex Phineas Gage's damaged prefrontal cortex increased his
aggression significantly.
Raine found that the prefrontal cortex which inhibits aggression is 14% less active in
murderers and 15% smaller in antisocial males.
Alcohol decreases prefrontal cortex activity so leaves limbic sites without cognitive
control.…read more

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man. Testosterone went up 100 times more in the gun condition, and they put3
times more chilli in the water.
Environmental stimuli increase aggressiveness partially via increases in testosterone,
supporting Sapolsky's belief that high levels of testosterone do not lead to heightened
aggression but instead that aggressive behaviour elevates testosterone.…read more

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[aggressive behaviour is sensitive to early social experiences but also to variations of
MAOA complex interaction]
Adoption studies nature or nurture??
Positive correlation between aggression in adopted child and biological parent
Positive correlation between aggression in adopted child and rearing family
HOWEVER very sensitive data, deterministic (stress of adoption not parents?)
Danish study of 14000 adoptions ­ adopted boys with criminal convictions had
criminal parents = genetic link?
Monozygotic twins
All genes shared
Coccaro 50% of variance in direct aggression towards others…read more

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Males tend not to aggress towards females as it reduces reproduction chance
Bun and Duntley for evolution to explain aggression, adaptive and functional
benefits of aggression must outweigh possible costs
Buss crosscultural questionnaire + objective galvanic skin measures
More jealous if partner had sex or formed emotional attachment with another?
Men = 60% more jealous about sex jealousy triggered by uncertain paternity
Women = 85% more jealous about attachment means being left without resources
Mate retention techniques…read more


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