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Social Psychology
Approaches to Explain
Aggression…read more

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Social Learning Theory of Aggression
Aggressive Behaviour can be learned by observing & imitating other people
SLT was proposed by Bandura used the term modelling (indirect learning) e.g. observing 2 peers
fighting over a toy if one child gains the toy by force then the observer has witnessed positive view
of aggression.
However criteria like self-efficacy (if the person believes they are capable) need to be fulfilled to
make imitation of a model more likely
According to this a person will not use aggression in all situations only ones were they believe
they will gain the desired results e.g. a child may not use aggression towards someone that is
bigger than them just to those who are smaller
Characteristics of the model ­ they will not imitate a random model but someone who has status
and power or is similar in some way e.g. one of the most influential role model is the same-se
parent
Parent use physical punishment which suggest it's an appropriate way to gain control Baron &
Richardson's research suggest that children who are subjected in physical punishment in
childhood often use violence themselves later
Models may have a powerful influence if they are seen to have gained high status/wealth through
aggression
For aggression to be maintained it must be rewarded in some way this can be external e.g. an
aggressive criminal getting money. Status can also be a reinforcer for gang members
Reciprocal Determinism ­ the 2 way relationship between an individual and their environment
If aggression is punished then it may decrease
Memory also plays a role as it's used to determine whether aggression should be used in that
situation
Attention A person has to pay some attention to the behaviour of the model in order for it to be imitated. A number of
factors influence the attention given to the model including status, similarities and attractiveness
Retention The behaviour has to be remembered if it's going to be imitated
Reproduction The observer has to be able to replicate the behaviour
Motivation The observer must want to imitate the behaviour…read more

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SLT of Aggression - Evaluation
The Bobo Doll Studies 1960s­ one group saw the adult being rewarded the other
saw the adult being punished they found that the children who found the adult
being rewarded were more likely to replicate the behaviour
A group of nursery children watched a TV program were character1 refused to
let character2 play with a toy. In one version C2 hit C1 a voice declares C2 a
victor. In the other version when C2 tries to retaliates C1 hits C2. the children who
watched the first condition were more aggressive in their play. However the Bobo
doll was designed to be hit repeatedly it could be argued that Bandura is not
measuring aggression but play.
The measure of real aggression under controlled conditions is difficult as it poses
major issues in regards to ethics
Patterson et al. studied 19 kids between 3 & 12 they were labelled as socially
aggressive their parents described them as out of control. Family analysis showed
that the parents had modelled aggression when the administered physical
punishment People at the learning showed the parents how to become a positive
model they used thing like naughty steps which proved to be very useful
Biologists have located cells in the brain the call mirror neurons this comes active
when we perform an action and we see other people do it
Mirror neurons allows us to experience what others are doing and feeling this is
way of rehearsing
Mirror neurons help to explains how we understand the pleasure someone feels
after winning a fight…read more

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Social Learning Theory
Originated from Tarde (1912) key characteristics of imitation:
The behaviour of role models
Copying those with higher status
The degree of contact with role model
The of understanding of the behaviour
Bandura combines social psychology and cognitive psychology
Behaviour is not only motivated by inherited psychological factors but also by socio-
environmental factors
Reciprocal Determinism - one process relies on another
SLT has 4 basic process
Attention ­ concentration on model
Retention ­ storing the behaviour
Reproduction ­ Copying the behaviour
Motivation ­ a good reason for showing the behaviour
The model would be someone that is similar (age/sex) or position of power (pop
idol/teacher)
They child still needs self-confidence (self-efficacy) to imitate the behaviour
Bobo Doll Studies 1961: 72 Pps half had an aggressive model the other non aggressive. Within those half watch same sex
the other opposite sex. Control group did not see model interact with Bobo. The aggressive model abused Bobo verbal
& physical. Non aggressive ignored Bobo. They created frustration by leaving them in the room and were told the toys
were for other kids. They were taken to a room and see if they would play with aggressive toys or non-aggressive. The
kids who witnessed aggressive model were far more likely to show aggressive behaviour. Boys showed more aggressive
behaviour if model was male however for girls less significant .
Methodical Issues: lacks mundane realism, 1 cultural setting, behaviour due to demand characteristic from
experimenter wanted to please experimenter, Bobo dolls are designed to be hit
Ethical Issues: Confidentiality, can be found on internet. Informed consent, kids unaware they are being filmed…read more

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Evaluation of Bandura's SLT
Positive Points
It has face validity ­ Jamie Bugler was murdered by a 10 and 11 year old
boys because they watched Child's Play 3
It has been applied to other antisocial behaviour. Burgess used SLT to
explain deviancy
Bandura's research focused societies attention to the power of the media
not only aggression but also media
Negative Points
Imposed etic (researcher imposes their ideas and assumes it's
appropriate irrespective of cultural differences) this theory way not be
applicable to other cultures
It's deterministic as it assumes that the child would be passively absorb
the behaviour without any logical thoughts
Runciman 1966 ­ aggressive behaviour could be due to deprivation
Dollard et al. ­ there are other factors like frustration build up
(psychoanalysis) environmental cues (behavioural) that signal aggression
Aggression may be linked to genetic, bio-chemical or neuro-anatomical…read more

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Comments

Mephestic

This book is also good and has model essay answers for AQA psychology aggression

Mephestic

Oh and theres loads of psychology revision resources here.

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