Neural and Hormonal explanations of aggression

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  • Created by: imanilara
  • Created on: 21-02-16 22:23

Serotonin AO1

Low levels of serotonin in the pre-frontal cortex=amygdala to be more stimulated by external events=more impulsivity+aggression

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Serotonin AO2

Mann et Al (1990)-35 male, healthy Ps drug called dexfenfluramine=decreases serotonin levs.
-took drug+did questionnaire on hostility+agg, and it was found that agg levs increased after drug treatment-supports serotonin influencing agg.
-Small, male sample-low val-beta bias-low serotonin might affect women differently
-Self report technique-demand characteristics-helping the experimenter-decreasing internal val

Raleigh-supporting
-monkeys on diet of tryptophan (high serotonin) they were less agg than monkeys not on diet- supports as change in serotonin changed agg beh. 
-lacks external val, as done on animals and so cannot be extrapulated onto humans-they might not have same bio mechs as us! also, the damage to their physical health is difficult to justify when the results cant even be used on humans 

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Dopamine AO1+AO2

High levs of dopamine cause agg beh

Supporting evidence comes from:
Buitelaar et al (2003)-dopamine antagonists reduced agg beh-signpost

But there is little else conclusive evidence
Couppis+Kennedy- not supporting-actually found that dopamine is a result of agg- a reward pathway is stimulated when we are agg where dopamine is positive reinforcer--it doesnt explain agg and is an effect

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Testosterone AO1+AO2+some IDA!

Testosterone is a hormone which influences agg-influences areas of the brain that control behavioural actions, eg amygdala+hypothalamus

Archer (1991) supporting study-meta analysis of 230 males over 5 studies=positive correl between testosterone levs and agg beh-signpost
-correlational and so cannot determine cause/effect

Dabbs et al supporting-measured salivary testosterone levs in violent and non-violent criminals -those w high testosterone had the more violent histories-signpost

Gender bias in studies linking testosterone to agg-mainly look at men bc it is a male sex hormone-beta bias. Maybe we should research on women as some research as shown link between female testosterone+agg-maybe this area needs more focus

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IDA

Biological explanation is reductionist-complex behaviours down to neurotransmitters and hormones, no psych factors

Deterministic-if you have low levs of serotonin or high levs of testosterone inevitably agg? Free will must play a part.

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IDA

Biological explanation is reductionist-complex behaviours down to neurotransmitters and hormones, no psych factors

Deterministic-if you have low levs of serotonin or high levs of testosterone inevitably agg? Free will must play a part.

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