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Social Psychological Theories for
aggression ­ Deindividuation Theory
A01 ­ Describing theory (9 marks)
Assumption = Aggression is caused by
deindividuation (losing one's sense of
individuality).
> Zimbardo claimed that aggressive behaviour was
the result normal constraints on behaviour being
weakened due to people losing their sense of
individuality in…

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act more aggressively as they feel less personal
responsibility for their individual actions. In a sense
they are less likely to be blamed for their aggressive
behaviour as they are deindividuated and the so the
responsibility is spread collectively across many
people. E.g. a mob who becomes violent may feel…

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>Does not explain those who are deindividuated & not aggressive, e.g. schools
(uniforms), non-aggressive crowds (churches/peace rallies).
>Does not explain those who are aggressive & not seemingly deindividuated.
>What about those who resist deindividuation/aggression? E.g. Christina Maslach
How well can it
(women who stopped prison exp).
explain all
>This behaviour…

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Assumption = That aggression is the result of
biological causes. Specifically, people may have
inherited aggression through their genes. This may
be that they have inherited faulty hormonal or
neural systems genetically.

Sandberg (1961) ­ Some males have been
identified as XYY males (having an extra Y
chromosome).
CourtBrown (1967)…

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included so many participants giving it good
validity.
A03 (4 marks) A theory is only as good as
the research which supports it....
Evaluation of research and what it means for theory Evaluation of research & what this means for theory
When using twin studies, it is difficult to separate…

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> Implies that we can control aggression by controlling genes.
E.g. genetic engineering in order to breed people who are calmer/less aggressive.
LINK: so, theory useful to society as can reduce aggression biologically.
Are they
> Yet, implications not feasible/possible to carry out, e.g. moral/social problems with
useful/what are
engaging…

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showed abuse to Iraqi prisoners were more
reservists on night shifts (low status and
power). Alternatively, it could be that those
who have high status and power are abusing
their position by acting aggressively.



REVENGE AND RETALIATION ­ aggression
is the result of taking revenge on
someone/group for a past…

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A02 ­
Evaluation of
the theory (12
marks)
>What about those who resist situational forces and do not act aggressively? E.g.
How well can Christina Maslach (women who stopped prison exp). The theory states that everyone
situational should succumb to the situational aggression ­ does not explain individual differences in…

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Assumption = That aggression is the result of
biological causes. Specifically, people may have an
imbalance of hormones/neurotransmitters or
abnormal brain structure which can lead to
aggressive behaviour.

Neural Explanations:
> Role of prefrontal cortex = this controls aggression, damage
to it can lead to aggressive behaviour and personality change.…

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Taking tryptophan (a serotonergic drug which increases
serotonin levels) can reduce aggression in juvenile delinquents
& unpredictable institutionalised patients.
A03 (4 marks) A theory is only as good as
the research which supports it....
Evaluation of research and what it means for theory Evaluation of research & what this means…

Comments

Toni Arenyeka

This is absolutely wonderful, thank you so much.


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