Unit 3 Psychology- Aggression Social learning

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Social learning theory of Aggression


· According to the behaviourist approach aggression, like other behaviours, is a product to learning. The social learning theory suggests that aggressive behaviours are learned through imitation. /

Four stages 

· Attention. Focusing on the new behaviours, e.g. punching. /

· Retention. Storing in the long term memory so that it can later be retrieved. /

· Reproduction. Observer is physically able to replicate the behaviour. /

· Motivation. Expectancy of positive reinforcement, e.g. money and status. /


· The model- desirable characteristics and relatable. Bandura says mostly when its family./

· The behaviour- has a desirable outcome and is not to easy or too hard to perform. /

· The observer- Mostly likely when they have low self-esteem. /


· Bandura (1961) 3-5 year old children interacted aggressively towards a Bobo-doll, resembling behaviours exposed to them by an adult model. Supports the claim that aggressive behaviours are learned. //

· However, SLT suggests that motivation is required for reproduction. Therefore, suggests that motivation may not be as important as originally claimed. //

· Bandura (1963) found that a condition where the model received negative reinforcement imitation was much lower. This supports the claim that the expectancy of positive reinforcement is required for imitation. //

· SLT cannot explain why children used weapons that the model did not use, e.g. guns. Could suggest that it is not imitation but cognitive priming since they were ‘primed’ to act aggressively. //

· As a structured observation there may be some observer bias. They is because there is not an agreed definition…


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