Aggression -Outline and evaluate two social psychological theories of aggression (8 marks + 16 marks)

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  • Created by: Paigeyxx
  • Created on: 07-04-14 18:35

Aggression -Outline and evaluate two social psychological theories of aggression (8 marks + 16 marks)

The social learning theory was proposed by Bandura and Walters in 1963, they believed that while the act of aggression may have been due to an imbalance in our hormones, the acts and behaviours are a direct experience from those who inspire us. They suggested that we learn via our role model and imitate behaviours they have shown us. We will only however imitate the behaviours we have seen where there is no vicarious punishment to the role model, if they have been punished, this may be verbally, or physically then we will not imitate those acts. This is the basic principle of social learning theory (SLT). SLT does not include any biological factors for why we made 'act out' and so as a theory it is reductionist. However it is a very intelligent theory in explaining why our children may act in an aggressive manner.

There is supporting evidence for the social learning theory. In the famous bobo dolls study by Bandura et al, they explained why children acted in a similar way when shown a behaviour. The experiment used children both male and female in the age range 3-5. half of these children where exposed to an adult in a room full of toys, tea sets, toy guns, mallets etc. and saw the adult (role model) act aggressively towards the bobo doll, throwing the doll in the air, and hitting it forcefully with the mallet. The other half were not exposed to any form of aggressive behaviour. When each child was placed in the room themselves, children whom were exposed to the aggressive behaviours reproduced the same acts and some even thought up new ways to


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