Genetics and aggression

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Sapolsky (1997): Genes are the hand behind The biological approach is very Sample sizes tend to be of a very small
scenes, directing testosterones actions. deterministic and doesn't take other size within these studies, therefore it can
Turner (2007): aggressiveness in pigs. factors into consideration. For example; be hard to generalise any results onto a
Suggests that pig farmers may try to
situational factors could also play a big broader amount of people.
selectively breed non-aggressive pigs and
part of the levels of aggression in a Much research is carried out into this
aggressiveness should fall by 5% per year
during the early years of selection. person. topic uses animals therefore we can't
Monoamine oxidase A (MAOA): 1995 ­ The Social psychological theories of extrapolate the findings onto humans as
mice that lack this suffers serious anger aggression such as the learning theory different animals have different genetics.
management problems. are strongly critical of the Biological and What is relevant in one species may not
The enzyme made by the gene mops up the Genetic approach. This approach states be relevant to another.
excess neurotransmitters, so mice that that many people learn behaviours It is relatively hard to carry research out
didn't have the gene had usually high levels through others. Therefore, the Social into twins because of the small amount of
of transmitters.
psychological approach supports Nurture, them and much research into the genetics
Reverse genetics (Bock & Goode 1996) ­
whereas the biological approach is in behind aggression is carried out on twins.
mutants mice reproduced that lack a gene
for the serotonin receptor. These mice have support of the Nature approach. Another methodological issue with this
abnormal behaviour general but are twice as Genetics can also be seen as being very theory behind aggression is that most of
aggressive as normal mice. Mice reared reductionist as they state that all the research is carried on men, so
alone more likely to attack other mice then aggressive behaviour is simply to do with therefore is the results applicable to
mice who are reared with other mice. the bodily mechanisms such as women? However, one research into the
Cases et al (1995) implicated this gene in testosterone. In conjunction to this, this genetics behind aggression did include
human aggression. approach can be seen as taking away the both men and women and was carried
Newman (2003) looked at 45 unrelated free will of individuals who make the out by CASPI. His sample included 442
macaque monkeys raised with or without
choice not to be aggressive. This is boys and 595 girls. Therefore it is
mothers. Looked at MAOA activity.
because this approach states that anyone possible to generalise his results.
Concluded that aggressiveness is influenced
by MAOA activity, but might be changed by who has high levels of MAOA or their Culture bias can also be another criticism
family has aggressive traits is going to be of much research carried out on this topic.

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Especially for CASPI's study as it was just
in. not the case. This can be supported by carried out in New Zealand so it isn't very
Men with a XYY chromosome are suggested CASPI's study, who found that men with applicable to other cultures within
to be more aggressive than men who have HIGH MAOA were actually less likely to different countries.
just an XY or XXY chromosome. It has been
be aggressive.…read more

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