First 454 words of the document:
Neural and Hormonal Mechanisms in Aggression IDA Points
Many studies used to research neural and hormonal mechanisms, such as testosterone, in aggression
focus on solely male participants. This presents an issue of beta bias, as it is assumed that results are
consistent in both males and females, when really they cannot be generalised to the other sex. This
suggests that this biological approach of aggression cannot explain aggressive responses in women,
and so does not give a full explanation of why this behaviour is performed.
It can be argued that using neurotransmitters and hormones to explain aggression is reductionist.
Although links between these biological mechanisms and aggression have been well-established in
non-human species, results are more inconsistent in human research. This suggests that the
complexity of human social behaviour cannot be reduced and explained by simple biological
components, and that other factors must be involved also to explain the different aspects of
aggression and violence.
Nature VS Nurture:
The biological approach suggests that neurotransmitters and hormones are the only factors involved
in predicting aggressive responses, but this can be challenged by the Diathesis-Stress Model. The
model suggests that behaviour is determined by a combination of genetic and environmental factors,
but the biological approach fails to take the latter into account. This suggests that just focusing on
neural and hormonal mechanisms doesn't present us with the full picture, and that the environment
must also have an impact on aggression.
Determinism VS Freewill:
Explaining aggression in terms of neural and hormonal mechanisms indicates that individuals have no
freewill over their behaviour. According to this theory, impulsive aggressive responses are
determined completely by the levels of certain neurotransmitters and hormones in the body. This
removes moral responsibility, suggesting that individuals behave the way they do because of their
body chemistry and so cannot be blamed for their actions, and fails to take into account that
everyone must have some extent of choice over their behaviour.
Strengths/Weaknesses of the Biological Approach:
Using neural and hormonal mechanisms to explain aggression uses a biological approach to
psychology, which suggests that all behaviour is due to physiological factors and biological processes
such as neurotransmitters and hormones. Although this can provide us with clear predictions in
research and hypotheses that can be easily tested, biological explanations are rarely the whole
story. According to the Diathesis-Stress Model, behaviour is determined by a combination of genetic
and environmental factors, but the biological approach fails to provide us with any environmental
causes of aggression.