PSYA3 - Aggression - Institutional Aggression

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Institutions include prisons, universities, the police, the army or terrorist groups. Most research focuses on aggression in the army and prisons.

Theories of institutional aggression

Deprivation model:

Concentrates on the lack of freedom, control, privacy, security and heterosexual relationships experienced within prisons. This causes feelings of frustration which may lead to aggression.

Prisoners are likely to express frustration through violence towards staff since they are seen as the controllers of privileges, and therefore considered to be the ones causing deprivation.

Rejects the idea that it is the inmate's personalities causing violence.

Jiang and Fisher-Giolando (2002) - studied 431 male prison records in the southern states of the USA.

  • Found that the deprivation model was the most likely to explain violence towards staff
  • Inmates with the most restrictive regimes had the highest incidences of violence.

The Lucifer Effect:

Zimbardo suggested that the situation that a person finds themselves in may cause The Lucifer Effect - the power of a situation to make an ordinary person act aggressively.

A change of power and status of those within the institution…


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