Theme A aggression for AQA PSYA3

this is all the notes available for social learning theory and deinviduation. Happy revising

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AGGRESSION ­ THEME A ­ SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGICAL APPROACHES
TO EXPLAINING AGGRESSION
Part 1 ­ Social psychological theories of aggression (Social Learning Theory
and Deinviduation)
SLT states that children learn aggressive behaviour through either direct
experience (being abused or hit by a family member) or acquired indirectly
through observation and intimation (vicarious experience) and believing the
behaviour is normal
It's an example of the behaviourist approach and minimises the role of
biology in determining aggressive behaviour.
However, biological factors aren't ignored by this theory but the theory states
that the biological makeup of individuals contributes towards them potentially
learning the expression of aggression.
SLT claims that aggressive behaviour is learnt through direct reinforcement
or indirect reinforcement
Aggression is acquired in three stages:
o Observation of the behaviour (indirect reinforcement)
o Acting out observed behaviour
o Acted out behaviour is reinforced (direct reinforcement)
Individuals are more likely to imitate behaviour if they receive great rewards,
if the model is admired/similar to the individual or if they have low self esteem
and little confidence in themselves
SLT is important as it states that it goes beyond direct reinforcement ­
anyone can watch and imitate aggressive behaviour
AO2 EVALUATION OF SLT
P: SLT has successful applications in real life and has been applied to the
development of psychological disorders.
E: It can be used in behaviour modification programmes as well as in
classrooms.
E: For example, students discussed rewards and consequences of certain
behaviours and as a result negative behaviour decreases.
L: This implies that the research is useful and universal as it can be applied to
different aspects of life.
P: Environmental influences have an effect on aggressive learning in children.
E: Bandura stated that those who live in high crime rate areas are more likely to
be aggressive than those who live in low crime rate areas.
E: However there may be other reasons for this outcome and individual
differences are present (such as unemployment and lack of education etc.)
L: Observational explanations are therefore too simplistic and as a result other
factors need to be considered in producing the theory on aggressive behaviour.

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AO2 RESEARCH SUPPORT STUDIES/ MERIT (AO2/3)
Bandura ­ The Bobo doll study:
P: The Bobo Dolls research by Bandura supports the SLT as children who
observed adult models being aggressive towards the dolls behaved similarly.
E: This means that the SLT is valid and can be used universally as a way to
explain how aggressive behaviour is acquired.
E: However it was a lab expt which makes it difficult to generalise findings to a
more realistic setting.…read more

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P: The SLT and research supporting it can be considered to be unethical.
E: It places the role model/parent responsible for any aggressive behaviour
elicited by the individual that they're assumed to be responsible of.
E: However, if aggression can be potentially an act of free will then shouldn't the
individual be responsible for their own actions?
L: Therefore the SLT needs to reduce the placement of responsibility of a
behaviour on the parent/guardian.…read more

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Prentice Dunn & Rogers showed processes involved in deinviduation:
1. PUBLIC SELF AWARENESS concerned about impression and can be
reduced by anonymity/diffusion of responsibility (responsibility is spread
out amongst crowd). Public self awareness results in a loss of public
standards of behaviour and lowers our inhibitions.
a. E.g. London rioters covered themselves up to remain anonymous
2. PRIVATE SELF AWARENESS own thoughts and feelings, activity
you're involved in may cause you to forget yourself.…read more

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E: Mann found that baiting crowds who shouted and encouraged suicide
threateners to 'jump' 'jump' encouraged the chances of suicide.
E: This also shows an example of private self awareness as a process of
deinviduation as individual's norms are pushed aside and everyone conforms to
each other and acts collectively by adopting a group's attitudes and norms.
L: This shows that the deinviduation theory can also be successfully applied to
real life situations to explain why events occur.…read more

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P: Deinviduation can be considered to be deterministic as having a lowered
sense of self awareness in crowds makes you an irrational aggressive person.
E: Studies such as Zimbardo and Mann support this statement as individual
responsibility is removed and diffused amongst the crowd so there is less
consequences to be faced at the end.
E: However, you can also be part of a crowd without performing aggressive acts
and that needs to be taken into account when discussing deinviduation.…read more

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