Explanations Of Aggression

um, explanations of aggression really. enjoy. actually, dont enjoy because thats a little weird but i hope theyre useful..

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  • Created by: Genea
  • Created on: 06-05-10 19:44

Social Learning Theory

AO1 = Social learning theory suggests that we learn by observing others. We learn through operant conditioning which takes place through direct reinforcement and we must identify with the model we are trying to imitate. We learn the consequences of the behaviour through vicarious reinforcement so we can understand what is appropriate to copy. The conditions of social learning are that we must 1. pay attention, 2. remember the action, 3. be able to replicate it and 4. be motivated to replicate it. As well as this, Bandura claims that in order for social learning to take place we must form mental representations of the events in our social environment. If we are rewarded for doing something, we are likely to do it again and if we have the confidence to be aggressive.

AO2 = Bandura: Bobo doll. Children repeat aggression they see. Boys more than girls. Noble: Bobo Doll study lacks validity, the doll cannot hit back and the children show demand characteristics. Philips: homcide rates in adults increase after airing of big boxing matches. Children from !Kung San are never exposed to violence and therefore grow up to be non-aggressive. SLT can explain aggression in the absence of direct reinforcement [vicarious reinforcement].

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AO1 = Based on Classic Crowd Theory. [Gustave Le Bon] In a crowd, the combination of anonymity, suggestibility and contagion mean that the "collective mind" takes over. [Zimbardo] The individual loses self-control and is capable of doing things not in the social norm. There become decreased concerns about evaluation by others and reduces inner restraints. In a large crowd, each person becomes faceless increasing antisocial behaviour

AO2 = Zimbardo: unrecognisable hooded people are able to deliver longer electric shocks. Rehm: kids in uniform act more aggressively in handball than ones in normal clothing. Mullen: looked at 60 lynches. the greater the crowd, the more violent the lynching. Watson: the most violent warriors at war where face paint or amour to hide themselves. Mann: 10/21 suicide leaps were encouraged by baiting crowds at the bottom urging victim Cannavale: only mostly all male deindividuated groups tend to increase in aggression. Postmes + Spears: meta-analysis of 60 studies. insufficient support for aggression link. Prentice-Dunn: deindividuation can lead to pro-social or anti-social behaviour[giving money]

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Institutional Aggression

AO1 = WITHIN GROUPS: the importation model. Irwin + Cressey claim that prisoners bring their own social history and traits with them into prison, this influences their adaption into the environment, they are not blank slates when they enter and import outside systems in with them. the deprivation model. prisoner aggression is the product of the stressful environment. Hazing- Private Andrei Sychev was beaten so badly his legs and genitalia were amputated. Hazing involves disciplining new members to maintance a power order. Out of 11,000 students, it was found that over half had experienced hazing. Social context has an important influence on desire to inflict pain on others. It is believed that a "Real Man" has impact on physical and emotional toughness of withstanding the pain. Out of the 60 deaths caused by hazing, only 3 are women. It is also instrumental aggression rather than hostile aggression meaning it violence as means to a goal.

AO2 = Harer: Black inmates have higher rates of violent behaviour whereas white have more drug related misconduct supporting the importation model. McCorkle: stressful prison conditions including lack of privacy and overcrowding lead to peer aggression supporting the deprivation model however increased space did not reduce aggression [Nijman]. McCorkle: domination of the weak was seen to inmates as essential in maintaning status. There are problems in defining aggression. Brutal or just "some fun".

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Institutional Aggression

AO1 = BETWEEN GROUPS: Staub outlined 5 stages leading to genocide. Difficult social situations > Scapegoating of a less powerful group > Dehumanisation of the group > Reduced moral values and killing begins > Passivity of bystanders, enhancing process. People tend to have moral inhibitions about killing fellow humans however when they are dehumanised, they are seen as worthless animals and easier to kill. For example, on the Hutu hate radio, Tutsi's were referred to as cockroaches just before the killing began. Obedience to authority- in the Holocaust, Nazi soldiers were pushed to obey their leaders regardless of any moral reasoning. Milgram argues that if ordinary people are able to deliver electric shocks to innocent people then the Nazi regime would have no problem with killing millions of innocent Jews when ordered to.

AO2 = in the Rwandan genocide, 800,000 people died in 100 days without bystander intervention [UN]. this supports the fact that without it, the killing can continue. O'Brien: immigrants seen as "polluting threats to social order" and dehumanised with can explain the violence towards them. Mandel: Milgram obedience explaination is monocasual and not sufficient enough to explain the behaviour in the Holocaust. Goldhagen: main cause of it was the anti-Semitism so deeply entrenched in German people that they didnt mind killing millions of innocent people.

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Biological Explanations

AO1 = Neurotransmitters. low levels of serotonin and high levels of dopamine are associated with aggressive behaviour. Dexfenfluramine depleats serotonin in the brain which leads to increased aggressive behaviour in men but not women [Mann]. Lavine and Buitelaar found that certain drugs such as amphetamines and antipsychotics alter dopamine levels which lead to adjusted levels of aggression.

Meta-analyses have established a link between testosterone and aggression [Archer]. Dabbs found that testosterone levels were high among violent criminals. A challenge hypothesis has been suggested in which testosterone levels rise in response to challenge. High levels of cortisol inhibit testosterone which then also leads to aggression.

AO2 = Scerbo + Raine: evidence for serotonin aggression link but not for dopamine. Raleigh: Animal studies suggest that lower levels of serotonin are linked with dominance. Bond: antidepressants raise serotonin and reduce impulsive aggression or irritability. Dopamine may be a consequence rather than a cause of aggression. Gender Bias: most studies involve men but the testostrone link is high in females [Archer]. McBurnett: Cortisol link supported with study on behavioural problem boys

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Biological Explanations

AO1 = MZ twins are identical and have similar levels of aggression more than DZ twins which indicates that there is a genetic influence controlling if we are born aggressive. Coccaro suggests that genetic factors make up 50% of the variance in aggressive behaviour. In adoption studies it is possible to disentangle enviromental and genetic factors by comparing adopted children and their biological parents. Hutchings + Mednick found that adopted children with criminal convictions often had fathers with them too. The gene MAOA has been linked with aggressive behaviour as it controls the serotonin levels in the brain. Brunner says that the Dutch violent family had abnormally low levels of MAOA.

AO2 = It is difficult to determine what a product of genetic inheritance is as more than one gene contributes as well as environmental factors which work together. There are also problems measuring aggression as self reports or observation may not be reliable. Some violent criminals may not generally be considered aggressive. Miles + Carey: meta analysis of 24 twin/adoption studies showed that at a young age both genes + enviroment have an impact on aggression but as they get older, influence of genes increases. Individual differences in aggression are more a product of enviroment than genetics as showed in the Bandura Bobo Doll study when there was no correlation between the twins + violence.

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Evolutionary Explanations

AO1 = as men can never be sure if a baby is theirs [infidelity], this increases sexual jealously and a desire to reduce the chances of cuckoldry. Buss suggests that there are strategies that have evolved to keep your mate to yourself. these include direct guarding of the female or threats that would keep her from looking elsewhere. Wilson suggests a modern example of this is vigilance [unexpectedly checking up on your mate]. Sexual jealously is a prime cause of violence against women. Uxorocide [wife killing] is just an unintended outcome of an evolutionary adaption to protect themselves from cuckoldry.

AO2 = Buss: men who expected their partner to be unfaithful over the next year inflicted greater punishments than men that did not expect this. Mate retention strategies are only evoked when a adaptive problem is faced, i.e infidelity. Shackelford: questionnaire, -social desirability- men who used negative inducements, emotional manipulation or direct guarding of their partner were most likely to act violent against them regardless of age or relationship duration. + analysed 13670 cases of uxorocide finding that younger women are more at risk of being murdered. Men kill their wives at most reproductive age [contradicting evolutionary logic] although Buss suggests this is to break up with the woman and prevent another man from taking her and increasing his reproductive ability.

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Evolutionary Explanations

AO1 = in a study of homicides by Wilson + Daly, it was found that many of the killers and victims were unemployed and unmarried. A lack of money and ability to attract a mate increases social competition and male-male homicides. Another key motive in male homicides would be loss of status in peer groups, humans have evolved in small groups so loss of status could be dangerous in the reproduction + social context. Sexual jealous is a key motive and a study by Daly + Wilson found that 92% of killings in love triangles were male and 8% female.

AO2 = as homicides can happen for so many reasons, we have developed tactics to prevent them such as being able to read the signs of homicidal intent or killing in self defence. Duntley + Buss: the success rate for homicides has decreased and attempting to kill is becoming more dangerous for the killer, as a response, tactics developed such as concealment of homicidal intent to avoid victim defence strategies. Buss + Shakelford: evolutionary explanations cannot account for why people have different reactions for the same situation. In the case of infidelity it could be a beating/getting drunk/homicide. Gender Bias: women have retention tactics aswell, Archer found equal rates of assaults for men + women in family conflict situations.

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Aggression as an Adaptive Response

AO1 = lynching was an institutionalised method to terrorise black people and maintain white supremacy after the emancipation act, leading the fear that "blacks wanted revenge" [Patterson]. When groups feel at risk, the survival of the group becomes important and group defence/rejecting outsiders evolve. Racist myths were made up in defence and the threat model of the lynching mobs based on the power-threat hypothesis [Blalock] says groups that pose a threat to the majority are subjected to violent action. Not all violence is aimed at others, some is self-inflicted such as religious ritutals, amoung Shiite Muslims, flagellation is still practiced on Ashura acting as a deterrant for people that want to reap the benefits of the group without believing in its teachings [Zahavi + Zahavi]. By engaging in such painful rituals, you make a commitment to the group + what it stands for [Sosis].

AO2 = Boyd: groups that work together flourish, so when the group is at risk, self-interests make way for group harmony. Clark: evidence contradicts the claim that black dangerous people are the major cause for lynchings in Brazil, in Sao Paulo, the number of black people was negatively correlated with incidents of lynchings. Sosis: religions requiring displays of commitment last the longest. Chen: costs of rituals are related to incentives of the group membership.

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