Unit 2 Aggression Revision

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Theories on why we might become aggressive

Social Learning Theory

The Socual Learning Theory is a thoery that John Dollard (1939) came up with. The theory is that we learn by observing other people. Bandura et al proved that theory by using children and a Bobo doll (large inflatable doll).

Bandura et al (1963)

Aim:To test the idea that children can learn to be aggressive thorugh imitating another person behaving aggressively.

Method: Children aged between 3 and 5 saw an adult behave aggressively towards the Bobo Doll.

Results: Children imitated behaviour but showed more imitation when it was the same sex model. Boys performed/showed more aggressive behaviour than girls. The groups were divided into three groups. Seeing a model being punished resulted lowest levels of non-direct punishment. Seeing a model being praised resulted in high levels of aggression.

Conclusion: All the children had learned the behaviour, but are moer likely to show more imitation when it is the same sex model or reinforced models.

Evaluation: Low Ecological Validity as it was only a child and adult involved which is a very limited social situation. And it was unethical as the children may have suffered Long term Consequences.

Frustration-aggression Hypothesis

The Frustration-aggression Hypothesis was also created by John Dollard. This is another theory on why we might become aggressive. He and his associates said that frustration s caused by aggression. Therefore anyone who is frustrated behaves aggressively. An example is when we want ot achieve a new goal but something is blocking it so therefore frustration occurs.

This explanantion argues that aggression may be delayed or direct towards a target rather than frustration. When it is turned out onto an object then it is not the cause of frustration but a 'safe target' because it is less powerful and not likely to retaliate.

But some studies show that aggression is raised slightlty when being frustrated. Neal Miller identified several reasonson why a person not show aggressive behaviour:

  • They may think that it is wrong to behave aggressively
  • They may not have learnt to behave aggressively
  • They may think that although the person made tehm agressive, it wasn't done intentionally
  • They might be frightened of the person they might be aggressive towards.

The Frustration aggression Hypothesis is an example of a psychodynamic approach of aggression.

Biolgogical Explanations of Aggression

Hormones

Hormones are proposed to cause aggression. One hormone is testosterone. This is the most hormonal difference that causes aggression. It is found that males have

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