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A2 Psychology -
Looking at Social Psychological Explanations
Aggression…read more

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Firstly Choose an Topic to
Social psychological approaches to
explaining aggression.
Institutional Aggression…read more

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Social Learning Theory
SLT like a jukebox ­ insert coin and choose any song -> We all
observe lots of different role models and their behaviour, so in a
certain situation we select the most appropriate behaviour based
on what we have seen work successfully in other situations with
our role models. Aggression is only ONE option. This is different
to the psychodynamic approach where it says that aggression is
Observed behaviour Constructive problem
and anticipated solving
consequences Withdrawal and
Dependency with drink or drugs…read more

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Evidence regarding SLT
Bobo Doll (Bandura, 1961) children will copy aggressive behaviour of adult role
models. Children saw adult role models act aggressively towards a Bobo doll.
During 20min play afterwards, the number of aggressive acts were counted. The
children were a lot more aggressive compared to a control group who didn't see
an adult role model act aggressively towards the Bobo Doll.
Bandura repeated study, with the change that the children could see the adult
being either punished or rewarded for the aggressive acts. He found that those
who saw the adults being punished were less likely to imitate the aggressive
behaviour. But those who saw the adult reward all copied aggressive acts. This
supports idea of SLT as punishment = no motivation to imitate, whereas, rewards
= a lot of motivation to imitate.
HOWEVER, it could be that children are more impressionable and, therefore,
creates a sample bias which may restrict the ecological validity of evidence.
Fact that experiment was done in a lab means the results cannot be generalised
to everyday situations as they lack mundane realism and conclusions would
need to be drawn with care.
Theory only looks at immediate affects, doesn't look at the long-term effects
when exposed to a role model.
Charlton (2000) looked at the effects of the introduction of TV and aggression
on TV on the children of St Helena and found no such effect was found,
which demonstrates that exposure to aggressive role models does not…read more

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Deindividuation (Festinger et
al, 1952)
Festinger et al referred to deindividuation as the process by
which people lose their sense of self-awareness and
individuality. This is when people feel their identities are
hidden. Le Bon argued that people in crowds act differently
from when they are on their own. This occurs because in
large groups people can remain anonymous, which
encourages the display of aggressive behaviour.
If people can be identified this will usually prevent them from
acting aggressively due to the punishment. Other situations
that cause this occurrence are things such as: wearing
masks or disguises, the cover of darkness. Both make it
harder to identify a person's face.
When people are aware they are being watched, the become
self-concious and modify their own behaviour to suit the
moral code so they won't be judged, however, when…read more

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Evidence supporting
Zimbardo (1969), constructed a experiment similar to
Milgrams electric shock experiment but using female
undergraduates and with a variation. One group of
participants wore their own clothes and big name
badges, the other group wore lab coats with hoods, and
were not identifiable. Zimbardo found that those whose
identities were concealed delivered twice as many
electric shocks then those whose identities were known.
Mann (1981) did a natural experiment, he analysed 21
reported suicides in the USA. In 10 cases, the crowd that
gathered to watched urged the potential suicide to jump.
This happened at night and the crowd wasn't close, SO
they were not able to be identified.
In 1976, Deiner observed 1300 American children during
trick or treating. He found that those who were in large
groups or had costumes that hid their faces were more likely…read more

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