AQA A2 Psychology Unit 3: Explanations of Institutional Aggression Notes


A2 Psychology Unit 3: Explanations of Institutional Aggression (Aggression) Notes

What You Need to Know:

  • Explanations of institutional aggression

Institutional Aggression - is aggressive behaviour that has become the norm within an institution.

Aggression can occur within institutions, such as educational and prison settings.


Institutions that reduce individuality, e.g. by using uniforms, increase likelihood of deindividuation and therefore aggression. E.g. police in riot gear are hard to identify and this anonymity reduces the likelihood of being caught and might encourage aggression in addition to loss of personal values and morals.


  • In prisons - Zimbardo's Stanford Prison Experiment showed that a loss of personal identity in guards and prisoners can result in aggression. The clothing of guards and prisoners contributed to this.
  • In educational settings - Hazing, the illegal ritualistic abuse of an individual or group among United States undergraduates, has a long history. Hazing rituals are shrouded in secrecy and perpetrators and/or victims are usually unidentifiable because of masks or costumes.
  • In healthcare settings - Research has found increased aggression by staff in psychiatric units, and this may be because of


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