AQA GCSE Psychology - Aggression


Explanations of gender - Biological, psychodynamic, Social learning, causes of aggression - Biological and social learning, How to reduces aggression - Biological, psychodynamic, Social learning

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Biological explaination of aggression

Firstly hormones are suggested as a cause of aggression and in particular testosterone. As a male hormone shows how aggression is more common in those with higher levels of testosterone.

Secondly a chromosome abnormality. Higher that normal proportion of men with and extra Y chromosome amongst violent offenders. XYY arrangement has certain affects including making men more aggressive.

Thirdly is that it is caused by an interaction of different parts of the brain. Aggression seems to be linked with the limbic system (influences eating, sex behaviour and aggression). Part of the brain that controls and stops these behaviour is the prefrontal cortex (learning part of brain).

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Psychodynamic explaiation of agression

Aggressive behaviour is called by Thantos suggested by Freud which is a drive in our unconscious that build up like a boiling pan until it explodes and we release the aggressive behaviour. We protect our self using ego defence mechanisms which redirects our aggression outwardly so we will harm other instead of ourselves. Two defence mechanisms identified by Freud - displacement being aggressive towards other people - sublimination - channelling our aggression into other acceptable activities.

Dollard explained that we need something to trigger this explosion and spilling over of aggression.

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Social learning theory explanation of aggression

Social learning theory suggests aggressive behaviour is caused by people seeing how other people behave and copying it and look to toher people for guidence and imitate them.

Social learning theory stresses the importantce of vicarious learning. it has been found shilcren more likly to imitate role models who are similar to them e.g. sex. All the time people monitor their own behaviour.

Sometimes punishment can have the opposite effect in this way. e.g. if a child is hit by his parent and they will then to learn to hit others by expieriencing this.

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Biological and social learning investigation into

Biological Raine Aim To investigate the brains of murders. Method 41 murders in california a PET scan and compared with a similar gorup of non murders. Results some differences in activity of pre frontal cortex in murders and non murders. Conclusion When the pre frontal cortex is not working normally it can lead to people commiting violent crimes. Evaluation When participants are violent offenders we have to be careful about applying conclusions to the rest of the population

Social learning Liebert and Baron Aim If violent TV effects aggressive behaviour. Method One group of children was shown vioolent tv, another sporting event. Results Violent TV group more aggressive behaviour at play Conclusion Watching violence on TV increases the level of aggression in childrens behaviour. Evaluation lab study not reflect behaviour in the real world. Does not represent why.

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Biological method of reducing aggression

Drugs ritalin stimulates activity brain and can reduce aggressive beaviour caused by ADHD and is able to control aggressive instincts caused by the limbic system.

Psychosurgery Removes or destroys the part og the brain that is functioning properly. Done by inserting a probe to the precise location and heating up the end to kill the nerves.

Evaluation : Once psychosurgery taken place cannot be reversed. And if a mistake been made psychosurgery cannot be reversed. With drugs they can cost a lot of money to produce.

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Psychodynamic method of reducing aggression

Sublimination Finding a safe activity to release our aggressive instincts and channel our aggression into another activity. This reduces the buils up of aggression which makes it less likely that we will suddenly have an aggressive outburst.

Catharsis Freud suggested that it is a good thing to watch violent TV and in films because it is cathartic, it gets aggressive instincts out of your system. Frued agreed with the principle because it fitted in with his idea about aggression being caused by a build of instincts. e.g. ancient plays includded murders as he believed that watching them would make you less likly to commit murders.

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Social learning method of reducing aggression

Suggests best way to to observe non aggressive role models. Or the model being punished for aggressive behaviour.

Bandura Aim Observing role model being punished reduces aggression being copied.  Method Children shown adult model being punished or reinforced for acting aggressively. Results Those children who saw aggression being punished were less aggressive themselves. Conclusion If children see aggression brings a punishment they will not copy it. Evaluation Was found that children themselves reicieved reinforcement for being aggressivem they all copied the aggression that they had seen earlier. This suggests that children know some behaviour is wrong but will copy it anyway when they thinkthere will be no punishment for them.

People monitor their behaviour and judge whether what they are doing is good or bad. Because of this the social learning theory would suggest that it is possible to reduce aggression by getting people to think differently about how to behave.

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Well detailed flash cards which include key studies, terms and evaluative points.



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