Explanations of institutional aggression: importaton model

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Psychology unit 3 aggression revision
Explanations of institutional aggression- importation model
Description
Prisons are violent due to the violent nature of the prisoners. Criminals have a
particular personality and generally show the following personality traits of
consistently telling lies, never showing empathy, always expecting their desires to
be catered for them, black and white thinkers (no middle ground or moderation)
and can't accept blame. This personality doesn't change when they go to prison.
There are 3 types of subcultures: thief subculture (trust among fellow criminals),
convict subcultures (suffered from deprivation before entering prison and value
power over aggression) and conventional subcultures (non aggressive first time
prisoners).
Evaluation
Model is supported by evidence (Poole and Regoli): found that the juvenile's
pre-institutional violence has the best predictor of inmate aggression. This
clearly shows that pre existing personality traits have a huge influence on
institutional behaviour. The study only looked at juvenile prisoners so the
findings can't be generalised to adult prisoners as they may be influenced
by the environment as well as their existing personality so the study lacks
population validity.
Model has little practical use: suggests that aggression is caused by
personality but fails to provide suggestions to reduce violence. All
psychological research must provide useful applications.
Provides a detailed explanation of prison violence: suggests there are
different types of prisoners. Previous studies believed that all prisoners
were the same. Clearly dispositional factors affect the behaviour of
individuals and by taking individual differences into account we have a more
personalised explanation of behaviour in prisons.

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