SLT, Deindividuation & Institutional Aggression

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Social Psychological approach to aggression
Social Psychological theories of aggression-SLT,
Explanations of institutional aggression
Biological explanation of aggression
The role of neural and hormonal mechanisms in
The role of genetic factors in aggressive behaviour
Aggression as an adaptive response
Evolutionary explanations of human aggression,
including infidelity and jealousy
Explanations of group display in humans e.g. sports
events and lynch mobs
Definition of Aggression- Behaviour with the intention to harm or injure,
directed toward someone.

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Social Learning Theory (SLT) - SLT is defined as behaviour that is controlled
by environmental influences rather than biological or inherited forces. SLT is
also known as modelling/observational learning.
Bandura, Ross & Ross (1961)-
Aim/ Hypothesis The aim of this study was to
see whether aggressive
behaviour could be learnt
through observation
Method/ 36 Boys and 36 Girls (aged 3-
Experiment 5). The children were invited
into a room to play a game.…read more

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Sock him
in the nose" "He keeps
coming back for more"
& "He sure is a tough
Prior to the test, the children
were given a mild aggression
arousal. They were taken into a
room where there were lots of
toys and were then told they
couldn't play with them. They
were then taken into a room
with aggressive toys including
the Bobo Doll and Mallet.
Results The children with the
aggressive model showed a
good deal of aggressive
behaviour, both physical and
verbal.…read more

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Deindividuation- Defined as the loss of a sense of individual identity, and
the loosening of normal inhibitions against a person's standard of
acceptable behaviour.
The different types of Self- Awareness:
1. Public self-awareness: A concern of what others think of you. This is
reduced with anonymity & diffusion of responsibility.
2. Private self-awareness: The concern we have for our own thoughts
and feelings. This can be reduced when we become so involved in an
event that we `forget' ourselves.…read more

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On arrival they were put
into suits with an ID number
on the back. The guards were
in military styled uniforms with
all the equipment.
Results The guards created a brutal
atmosphere for the prisoners,
the prisoners became very
passive whereas the guards
aggression levels rose. Every
guard at some point became
abusive and authoritarian.
Conclusion Both sets of participants
showed classic signs of
Deindividuation through a
lowered sense of identity and
an altered state of subjective
consciousness.…read more

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Evaluation of Deindividuation-
Advantages Disadvantages
Experimental Support- There are lots of Deindividuation doesn't always lead to
experiments that support and lead to the aggression- The idea that it leads to loss of
idea of Deindividuation inhibition may mean an increase in pro-
social behaviour. For example a group may
act as one and help after an earthquake has
Other theories-
Biological theory
Drive theory
Instinct theory
Institutional Aggression- Institutional aggression is violence within institutes
such as prison or hospital.…read more

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The Convict Subculture- These are inmates who have grown up in
prison and look for positions of power, influence and information within the
institute. This group is more likely to be aggressive and are influenced by
deprivation prior to imprisonment.
The Conventional Subculture- These are `one off' offenders and are
characterised as `straights'. They often reject both subculture groups when
in prison. They identify themselves more with the prison officers and staff.…read more

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Deprivation of Security- Although security is controlled, prisoners still
report the fear of threats from other more aggressive inmate.
All these deprivations lead to stress in prisoners. This stress can then be
channelled into aggression as a means of releasing it.…read more


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