social psychological explantions of aggression

SLT and deindividuation

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  • Created by: Elly
  • Created on: 06-05-10 19:05

Agression + SLT

Aggression can be defined as an act carried out with the intention to harm another person

- From social psychological terms operant conditioning would view behaviour as being learned through direct reinforcement

- However Bandura felt that this would not always explain the acquisition of new behaviour, so suggested that behaviour could also be learned by vicarious reinforcement

- Depeinding upon whether those observed are rewarded for their behaviour, children may be more likely to immitate the behaviour the observe.

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Bandura et al 1963

suggests that aggression is learnt through imitation, but what motivates people to copy role models?

-60 kids, 3-6 observed film of adult, aggressive.

- 3 conditions, 1 = kids observed and adult kicking a bobo doll, and was then reinforced by another adult.

2 = as above but punished

3 = kicked and punched but no consequences

children then put in room with doll

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- Children who had observed the model being rewarded behaved aggressively

- Children who had observed the model being punished behaved least aggresively

How this relates to SLT...

-shows children can learn by watching others, spesh when those observed are being rewarded.

- However it also shows that behaviour may be learned by not always applied.

- This was demo'd when the least aggressive children were later offered rewards and showed that they had learned the role models aggression

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- SLT can explain individual variation in behaviour between different people, due to the different ways in which people have been reinforces, it also has applications to the class room and social settings.

- Well controlled but lacked E.V, Stanford uni nursery, not reprasentative.

- Films were short lacked justification for any aggression shown

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Aggression + video games Anderson + Dill 2000

- SLT predicts if behaviour = rewarded then it will be imitated

- 200 US college students

- Asked what video games they played and tested aggression

- Those who played more violent games were more violent in real life

- played violent and none violent games

- after groups could punish oponents using blasts of noise

- Those playing the violent game = longer blasts of noise

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Weber et al 2006 F.E.S

- Studied brain activity in 13 male volunteers while they played a violent video game

- Played 15 hours a week

- At violent momentst in the game the activity of the ppt reflected patterns of neural activity, that are observed in people who have aggression disorders.

How this relates to SLT...

- Brain activity of the ppt during the video game were similar to aggressive people in everyday life, which suggests playing these games emphasises aggressive thoughts and behaviour

- In addition, it appeared that the cognitive activity involved in playing the game actually reduced the emotional responses.Over times may become densitised to the violence they are watching and these reaction may begin to govern behaviour in other aspects of their lives

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Strength - relationship between real life aggression

- Nature of this research does being to establish parallels between brain activity involved in playing video games and brain activity involved in aggression and daily life

- doesn't indicare causality, but is useful scientific evidence.

On the otherhand

Methodological issues

- small sample size may limit the generalisation of the research to the wider population

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Eval of SLT

Strength of SLT = F.E.S from Patterson et al

- Demonstrated that role models are important in the development of anti - social behaviour and that parents are the most important ones

- suggests wider academic credability for the important role played by parents when forming/ dev behaviour

2nd strength = hign e.v in lab , control over iv and dv

On the otherhand the doll, not real, not aggressive, so would they be aggressive to a real person. Some might think not, but Johnson 1997 argued that play aggression correlates with real. Issue iwth cause and effect.

Oversimplistic, evidence from flanagan 200, testosteron causes aggression, SLT only focus' on learning and the environment, so is therefore reductionist.

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A process whereby normal constraints ona behaviour are weakened as persons lose their sense of individuality

Fraser + Burchell 2001- several factors contribute = anonymity + alcohol.

Zimbardo 1970

- 2 groups of female students, one wore baggy coats and hoods in a dark room, and not reffered to by name, others = normal

- had to listen to two female volunteers, unlikable and likable

-dein'd group gave higher shocks than I groups

- I group adjusted shocks for likeble person

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Eval of dein'd

Dein'd can be positive

- can give members a sense of unity. This was found by Benewick and Holton 1987

- situations that create dein'd can create uninhibited behaviour but this may allow them to comm in a more meaning ful way Gergen and gergen 81

Research by prentice - dunn and rogers 1982 suggest that it not anonymity that leads to aggression but reduced self awareness

however a criticism = is that arousal was increased whih also tends to lead to aggression

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