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Pro and anti-social

Sleep, Dreaming and Rhythms

Developmental - Personality, Gender, Adolescence

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Psychology revision pack
PYA4 ­ Pro and Anti-social behaviour
Theories of aggression
Social learning theory:
Aggressive behaviour is learnt by observing others and imitating their behaviour
Role models can include parents, peers and celebrities portrayed in the media
Direct reinforcement ­ reward and punishment
Indirect reinforcement ­ observing and imitating, modelling, vicarious
Stage 1 ­ Attention ­ Paying attention to particular role models e.g. similar age, gender, or
desirable characteristics.
Stage 2 ­ retention ­ Learning and remembering aggressive behaviour observed
Stage 3 ­ Production ­ Copying the aggressive behaviour learnt through observation ( have
to be able to copy it)
Stage 4 ­ Motivation ­ Receiving a reward for the observed behaviour will act as
reinforcement e.g. attention
Evidence for SLT:
Bandura's BoBo doll study ­ watched an adult behaving aggressively
towards a BoBo doll. After 10 minutes the children were moved into
a room with a BoBo doll. Those who had seen the adult behaving
aggressively, were more likely to be aggressive too.
Bandura's second study showed adults being rewarded or punished
for aggressive behaviour with BoBo doll. Those who saw an adult
rewarded were more likely to repeat.
This supports the SLT, making it reliable. Shows aggressive
behaviour can be learnt through role models.
-Lab study ­ low ecological validity/high control over variable
-Sample bias ­ children
Mead ­ compared three guinea tribes. In one tribe both men and
women were aggressive, in another tribe they were not. In the
third tribe women were aggressive and men were not.
The fact that some societies are more aggressive than others
supports the role of social learning on aggression, making the
theory reliable.
-Culture bias ­ imposed etic used (researcher bias)
Evaluation of the SLT:

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Supporting scientific evidence
Deterministic ­ aggression is determined by the others around us. Many people surrounded
by aggressive role models and are not aggressive
Reductionist ­ ignores other factors. Floody found high testosterone levels can lead to
aggression.…read more

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Gergan and Gergan
People were monitored as to how they would react with strangers
One condition were in a room with strangers
The other were in a room in darkness with strangers
People moved about much more, conversation was patchy
Several people reported emotional and intimate contact
This suggests that anonymity may reduce social inhibitions but not create aggression.…read more

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Study of stress levels in children before and after relocation of the
airport in Munich, Germany.
They found a link between high levels of aircraft noise and stress levels.
This suggests that noise can lead to frustration and aggression.
1. Sample bias ­ the study only used children. Other age groups may have
responded differently.
2. NATURAL study ­ high in ecological validity as this was a natural setting.
The theory as a whole can be criticised for being deterministic.…read more

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The theory as a whole ignores cultural differences, some countries have temperate of 92-95
degrees but do not have aggression.
The theory is also deterministic because it suggests that heat will lead to a negative mood and
aggression. This is not always the case.
Over crowing
Increased arousal levels when in crowds can lead to an increase in
aggression levels.…read more

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SHOULD I help?
We must say yes to all of these questions if we are going to help someone.
Clark and word ­ is help needed?
Study of a workman falling off a ladder
If workman fell of a ladder in full view (clear) ­ 100% helped
If fell behind a screen (ambiguous) ­ 50% helped
This suggests that if it is clear that help is needed they are more likely to
help. This supports the decision model.…read more

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Weighing up the costs vs. rewards of helping and not helping. Costs ­ time,
safety, negative judgement. Rewards ­ praise, satisfaction, relief of guilt.
5. Helping behaviour
Piliavin ­ victim characteristics
If helper is at risk because the victim could cause harm they
are less likely to help.…read more

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Watching films activates memory schemas associated with the content of the film
It them makes the content of the film more likely to be performed
Watching violent behaviour makes then observer more likely to be aggressive (anti-social
Bandura's BoBo doll study:
Lab study
Children observed adults behaving either aggressively or non
aggressively towards a BoBo doll.
The study found that those who observed the anti-social
behaviour were more likely to repeat it.…read more

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Correlation ­ shows links but not causes, makes it un-useful.
A strength of all of the research is that it highlights problems to society. This can help improve society
and improve peoples lives. We can cut down on anti-social behaviour if we address some of the
Violent behaviour is also due to personality, home background and individual differences.
The effects are exaggerated ­ most people don't copy violent behaviour.
Media influences on pro-social behaviour
Theories are the same as anti social.…read more

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Could criticise wrong behaviours
This suggests that media can provide understanding of moral issues and help children with
social development
1. Natural study ­ high ecological validity/low control over variables
2. Sample bias
Difficult to identify long term effects as most research has focused on the short term effects.
Children imitate anti-social as well as pro social and if is not possible to stop children from viewing
anti-social behaviour.…read more


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