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SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGICAL APPROACHES
TO EXPLAINING AGGRESSION…read more

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social learning theory (SLT)
SLT suggests we learn by observing others,
and that this is how we learn the specifics of
aggression ­ it's form, when, how often,
where, the target, etc.
Based on Bandura et al's 1961 bobo doll study
Children learn of the consequences by seeing
others being punished or rewarded ­ vicarious
reinforcement
Bandura claimed that in order for SL to take
place, the child must form mental
representations in their head ­ expectancies of
the outcome
If a child is rewarded, e.g. get sweets from
bullying, they will be more likely to repeat
such behaviour
If a child isn't very good at it, they will have
less confidence and lower self-efficacy and will…read more

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Bandura and Walters (1963)
Replicated bobo doll experiment on 3
groups
Group 1 saw aggressive behaviour being
rewarded
Group 2 saw it being punished
Group 3 saw no consequence
Group 1 showed high levels of aggression,
and group 2 showed low levels, whereas
group 3 were somewhere in the middle
This is an example of vicarious learning ­
learning about the consequences of actions
and adjusting their behaviour accordingly…read more

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evaluation of SLT
Role of punishment ­ in Bandura and Walters'
study, did the threat of punishment in group 2
prevent learning of the aggression or
performance? B tested this by then offering
them rewards and all acted aggressively,
suggesting it prevented performance
Applicability to adults ­ Phillips (1986) found
that homocide rates nearly always increased
the week after a boxing match, suggesting
applicability to adults as well
Can explain learning in absence of direct
reinforcement
Explains individual differences of aggression
both between and within individuals
Cultural differences - !Kung San tribe neither…read more

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deindividuation
A psychological state where self evaluation is
lowered as concerns of evaluation of others,
leading to behaviour usually inhibited by
social or personal norms.
Aroused when in crowds, anonymity, and
altered consciousness due to alcohol/drugs
When in a large group, you become faceless
and have a lowered fear of negative evaluation
and guilt
Zimbardo (1969) ­ longer shocks given when
hooded, addressed as a group and not
introduced
Mullen (1986) ­ the greater the mob in
lynchings, the more savage they were
Submerging yourself in a group reduces self-
awareness rather than increasing anonymity
(Prentice-Dunn et al 1982)…read more

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