Psychology Unit 3 Aggression

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  • Created by: Stacey
  • Created on: 13-06-11 20:25

Biological Explanations Of Aggression; Neural & Hormonal

Hormonal Mechanisms

- Observations of behaviour shows that aggression occurs in males more than in females. Over 80% of homocides are committed by men!

This sex difference in aggression has led to researchers to look at the tole of hormonal mechanisms in aggression, specifically the role of Androgen (male sex hormones)

An androgen that has attracted the most interest is TESTOSTERONE!

Testosterone is produced in the testicals aswell as in the adrenal cortex - it is argued that as males produce higher levels of this hormone that this might be responisble for the gender difference in aggression!

Animal Research DOES seem to support this suggestion. Wagner et al showed that if male mice are castrated, aggression is reduced. When the mice is later injected with testosterone, their aggression was re-established!

(+ive evaluation) A real life application of this research is that castration has since been used as a method of making domestic/farm animals more manageable (less aggressive)

(-ive evaluation) difficulty generalizing  the finding of the study! -> rodent to humans - the human social systems are a lot more complex than mice. 

Dabbs et al measured the testosterone in the salivia of 692 inmates (male) and found that the inmates who had committed more serious crimes (voilent rapists) had higher testostrone levels than those who had committed less serious crimes (burglary)

(+ive Evaluation) although the study includes a large sample, an issue surrounding it is that it is gender biased towards males!

(-ive) further problems is that it only provides a correlation between 2 variables (testosterone and aggression) so we cant actually establish the causation?

However in One experiment that used a…


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