PSYA3 Aggression Notes

Complete notes on the Unit 3 topic of aggression for PSYA3. Including AO1, AO2 and AO3. Hope it helps! :)

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  • Created by: Deborah
  • Created on: 16-06-13 10:41
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Learned behaviours through imitation of successful role models by Vicarious Experience or
Direct Experience. (Cognitive as the behaviour model has been stored for future use)
o Vicarious- Learning by watching someone being rewarded for their aggressive behaviour.
o Direct- Learning through own experience- displays aggression, rewarded for it.
More likely to imitate behaviour if the model is similar to them (same sex, age or style), if they have
aspirational characteristics (admired), the individual has low self-esteem or high dependence on
others or if the reinforcement is direct.
Reciprocal Determinism- What a person learns is affected by their characteristics. Their
personality affects and is affected by the environment.
Self Efficacy- Believe that they are able to successfully carry out the aggressive behaviour.
Four Essential Components:
o Attention- Pay attention to the behaviour in order for it to be repeated. Status,
attractiveness and similarity of the model.
o Retention- Behaviour must be remembered if it is going to be imitated.
o Reproduction- They must be able to replicate the behaviour.
o Motivation- Person must want to imitate the behaviour.
All four of these components must be present in order for the observer to imitate aggressive
Bandura- When children observed adults being aggressive towards the bobo doll who were then
rewarded; they were more likely to copy this behaviour. The child had vicariously learnt the
Families that used aggressive tactics to resolve issues, were more likely to have
aggressive children.
Children were more aggressive after watching a film where the character was rewarded for the
same behaviour.
Training aggressive parents to model more appropriate behaviour reduced the aggression in their
BIOLOGICAL Support- Mirror neurones are active when an aggressive act is performed but also
when it is observed.
Bandura Bobo Study Criticised as it is unethical and has a lack of ecological validity as they are
in artificial settings. Also, it is not certain whether the changes are long-term and is the measure of
aggression accurate.
Mundugumors live close to the Arapesh but have completely different attitudes. Mundugumors are
violent and aggressive whereas the Arapesh is not.--> down to social learning or differences
IDAS Nature/ Nurture, Limited, Reductionist, Determinism, Cultural Bias
Losing individuality and identity- when less identifiable, more likely to engage in non- socially
acceptable acts.
Factors that enhance deindividuation:

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Shared Responsibility- reduced sense of guilt if the aggressive action is harmful to
others or property.
o Alcohol/ Drugs- create an altered state of consciousness, lack of inhibition.
o Uniforms- Take away sense of identity and make the individual anonymous.
Individuals don't feel constrained by social norms and therefore feel the ability to take
part in anti-social acts.
Zimbardo- Stanford Prison Experiment showed the guards and prisoners conforming to their roles
and with the guards feeling able to commit anti-social acts.…read more

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Three categories of prisoner:
o The Criminal Or Thief Subculture: Loyal among inmates and take betrayal seriously.
Refer to fellow thieves as a Primary Reference Group
o The Convict Subculture: Raised in prison system and look for positions of power and
influence. Most likely to be aggressive.
o The Conventional Or 'Straight' Subculture: One time offenders who tend to associate
themselves more with prison staff. Least likely to be aggressive.…read more

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Aggression is associated with increased Glucocorticoid and ACTH hormones.
Positive correlation between Noradrenaline/ Testosterone and aggression-> Not cause and effect
as it could be either the rise in hormone that causes aggression or the aggression that causes the
rise in hormone.
Lower Glucocorticoids lead to abnormal fears which are present in violent individuals.
People with a history of criminal behaviour often have low Serotonin levels.…read more

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Not absolutely genetic- aggression can be tamed by conditioning.
Low ecological validity (cannot be generalised to the population) and low mundane realism.
Many studies contain only male participants so there is an element of Gender Bias.
From looking at the Dutch family with defective MAOA gene, it is possible that the expectation of
this has led to people treating someone differently because of it, consequently leading to
reinforcement of the behaviour.
Correlational relationship between Noradrenaline levels and aggression- no cause and effect.…read more

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Warfare- Allows for one group's status to rise above the others in order to obtain land, resources
and mates. Aggression may be used in war to commit acts that would give them an advantage
over their competitor i.e. abduction of women to increase population size.
-> Pinker- Women in wars are sometimes raped in order to impregnate them so they would raise
a different raced child and also it drives others away.…read more



These notes are fantastic, they are split into AO1/AO2 assessment criteria and are very detailed!

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