Biological Explanation For Aggression

8 AO1s and 17 AO2s. A* essay. Set out in table for easy memorising.

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  • Created by: Andrew F.
  • Created on: 21-06-12 15:43
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Biological Explanation For Aggression ­ Andrew F
AO1's AO2's
1 It is very difficult to define what constitutes an
aggressive act and this definition will vary
between people. The idea of aggression is a
social construct.
2 The biological approach states that all
behaviour is driven by biochemistry, all
biochemistry is coded for by genes, and all
genes are inherited. This includes
1 To research the influence of genes in 3 To ensure this was not the result of social
aggression, Largerspetz bred influence, Largerspetz place some baby mice
aggressive mice together and from aggressive parents with nonaggressive
nonaggressive mice together. Show mice. The mice with aggressive parents still
found that the offspring were as acted aggressively.
aggressive as their parents, suggesting
aggression is hereditary.
4 However, mice do not have the same
cognitive abilities as humans and therefore
many would argue that the two cannot be
5 Also, it could be considered that breeding
`super' aggressive mice through artificial
selection is not ethical.
2 Twin studies can be used as a source of
evidence for the inheritance of
aggression. Monozygous twins share
identical DNA, therefore should have a
concordance rate of 1 and dizygous twins
share 50% of their genes so should have
a concordance rate of 0.5.
3 Some twin studies in to aggression have 6 Sample sizes of twin studies are invariably
found concordance rates of 0.87 for small as twins are a relative rarity. This means
monozygotes and 0.72 for dizygotes. that the results may easily be biased by one
This suggests that both biology and pair of twins.
environment are factors in
7 Also, twins are almost always raised very
similarly. It is possible they show similar
aggressive tendencies due to their similar
upbringing. This is an example of the
nature/nurture debate.
8 Twins may not fit the expected concordance
rates exactly due to prenatal nurture, where it
is possible that conditions and biochemicals
varied slightly between the twins.
9 Often twin studies rely on volunteers. This can
cause a selffulfilling prophecy because
volunteers will invariably have an interest in
the study or have extreme views on the

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Biological Explanation For Aggression ­ Andrew F
4 Adoption studies are used to overcome
questions about the influence of the
environment. Individuals who have been
adopted at a young age are tested for
aggressiveness, then both the biological
and adoptive parents are also tested.
Which set of parents the child more
closely correlates to should give insight in
to whether it is biology or environment
which causes aggression.…read more


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