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  • Created by: Kerry
  • Created on: 03-04-15 12:03
What does social learning theory suggest about aggressive behaviour?
We learn aggressive behaviour by observing others, a genetic make up of an individual creates potential for aggression, the expression of aggression is learned
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What are the 4 stages of social learning theory?
Observation, mental representation, maintenance through direct experience and self efficacy expectances
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What happens in the observation stage?
Children watch behaviour of role models and imitate. Learn consequences of aggressive behaviour by watching others be reinforced/punished. Indirect/vicarious reinforcement
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What happens in mental representation?
Bandura - for0 SL to occur, child needs mental representation of events in social environment. Need to represent possible reward/punishment. Child displays learned behaviour when opportunity arises, only if expectation of reward is greater
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What happens in maintenance through direct experience?
Child rewarded for aggressive behaviour more likely to repeat it (direct reinforcement). e.g. child who sucessfully bullies, they attach value to aggression
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What happens in self efficacy expectancies?
Children develop confidence in ability to carry out aggressive actions, those that experience disastrous effects have less confidence/self efficacy so are less likely to use aggressive behaviour
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What happened in Bandura et al's study?
Male and female child p's. 1/2 exposed to role models that were aggressive to bobo doll and 1/2 had models that werent aggressive. Children frustrated by being shown toys they couldnt play with
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What did Bandura et al find?
Child in aggressive condition - physical/verbal abuse to doll, resembling models behaviour. Non-aggressive condition - almost no aggression to doll
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What are negatives of the study?
Doesnt tell us why child would be motivated to perform behaviour in absence of model
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What was Noble's critical study?
Children knew what was expected of them and showed demand characteristics, focus on aggression on doll and not on a real person that would hit back. Study has low validity
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What was Philips' study?
Daily homicide rates in US almost always increased week after major boxing match, viewers imitated behaviour they watched. Suggests SLT is applicable to adults as well - increases validity
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What are ethical issues with SLT research?
Exposing children to aggressive behaviour that they may reproduce in their own behaviour - protection from harm. Hard to test SLT hypotheses as hard to test experimentally.
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Deindividuation theory is based on Crowd theory of Le Bon, what did Le Bon suggest?
Combination of anonymity, suggestibility and contagion means a collective mindset takes possession of individual, they lose self control and can act against social norms
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What is deindividuation?
Psychological state characterised by lowered self evaluation and decreased concerns about evaluation by others
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What factors contribute to deindividuation?
Anonymity - not being recognisable/indentifiable, altered consciousness (drugs/alcohol) - Zimbardo
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What did Zimbardo stress about these factors?
Can increase prosocial behaviour but deindividuation focusses on anti social behaviour
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How does anonymity affect aggressive behaviour?
People refrain from acting aggressively due to social norms that inhibit it and because they are identifable. Being anonymous = unaccountable, reduces innner restraints and increases aggressive behaviour
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What happens when there is anonymity?
Awareness of individuality is reduced, each person is faceless and anonymous. There is less fear of negative evaluation of actions and a reduced sense of guilt. Weakens normal barriers to anti social behaviour
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What were the conditions of Zimbardo's study?
Groups of 4 female students, delivered shocks to aid learning. 1/2 wore lab coats, hoods, sat separate and were never referred to by name. 1/2 wore own clothes, had name tags and introduced by name, could see each other
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What happened in the study?
p's in deindividuation condition shocked learner for twice as long as other condition. Supports anonymity leading to deindividation/aggressive behaviour
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What was Prentice-Dunn et al's study?
Reduced self awareness not anonymity leads to deindividuation. Self awareness = act according to internalised attitudes and normal standards. Individual submerged in a group loses focus, less self aware/able to regulate behaviour.
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What was Johnson and Downing's study?
p's anonymous - KKK or nurses uniform. p's shocked more than control condition in KKK uniform and less than in the nurse uniform. People respond to normative cues for social context. Aggressive behaviour = product of group norms not deindividuation
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How is deindividuation theory gender biased? (Cannavale et al)
Male and female's respond differently under deindividuation conditions, gender bias in theory. Increase in aggression only found in all male groups. Males more prone to aggressive behaviour when deindividuated than females
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What are the two models that explain instituational aggression within groups (prisons)?
Importation model and deprivation model
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What do Irwin & Cressy claim in the importation model?
Prisoners bring social histories and traits into prison, not blank slates in prison. Their normative systems developed outside are IMPORTED into prison
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How is gang membership related to the importation model?
Pre prison gang membership - important determinant of prison misconduct. Members of street gangs offend at higher level, import the violence to the prison environment
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What does Sykes suggest about prison aggression in the deprivation model?
Prisoner aggression is a product of stressful/oppressive conditions of the institution. e.g. crowding and staff experience cause fear/frustration leading to aggression.
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What were the specific deprivations that increased aggression?
Loss of liberty, loss of autonomy, loss of security = increase in anxiety
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What was Harer & Steffensmeier's study?
Data from 58 prisons, black inmates had signif. higher rates of violence but lower rates of drug/alcohol misconduct compared to white inmates. Parallel racial differences in behaviour in US society - supports importation model (behaviour taken in)
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What was McKorckle et al's study?
Found over crowding, lack of privacy and lack of meaningful activity significantly influenced peer violence. Supports deprivation model - peer violence/aggression used to relieve deprivation of institution
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What was Jiang and Fisher-Giorlando's compromise?
Deprivation model = best for violence against staff, importation model = best for violence against other inmates. Therefore both models help explain institutional aggression, combined approach may be most valid
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What was the RWA of the deprivation model? (Wilson)
Set up 2 units for inmates - less claustrophobic, outside view, prison noise reduced and replaced with local radio, lower temperature. Virtually eradicated assaults on staff and inmates. However, political pressures led to units not being used.
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Genocide is institutional aggression between groups, how does this occur?
Institution - whole section of society defined by ethnicity, religion or other feature. Violence/aggression occurs when instiutions relationship with another is characterised by hostility and hatred e.g. Hutu and Tutsi/Nazi's and Jews
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What were Staubs 5 steps of genocide?
1 - difficult social conditions. 2 - scapegoating of less powerful group. 3 - negative evaluation/dehumanisation of target group. 4 - moral values/rules inapplicable, killing begins. 5 - passivity of bystanders can enhance process
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What happens in dehumanisation?
Human beings usually have moral inhibitions about killing other humans, in dehumanisation members are seen as worthless animals and not worthy of moral consideration.
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How does obedience relate to genocide?
Milgram - situational pressures caused Nazi's and Hutu to obey leaders regardless of personal morals
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What criticism is there for the bystander stage?
Doing nothing = killing allowed to continue, may escalate it by signalling empathy or consent. Bystander intervention - shorten violence but make it more severe. Bystander stage may not be valid
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What was the RWA of dehumanisation? (Esses et al)
Explain violence against immigrants, high SDO individuals likely to dehumanise out-group members. Feelings enforced by negative media depictions. These feelings are rationalised by myths that cause SDO individual to think groups deserve hostility
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What does SDO stand for?
Social dominance orientation
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How do Mandel and Goldhagen reject Milgrams view?
Mandel - milgrams account is monocausal and doesnt match historical records. Goldhagen - main cause of holocaust was anti-Semitism, not obedience
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What are neurotransmitters?
Chemicals that enable impulses in the brain to be transmitted from one area of the brain to another
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What are the two neurotransmitters linked to aggression?
Serotonin and dopamine
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How is serotonin linked?
Inhibits responses to emotional stimuli that may lead to aggressive response, low levels of serotonin associated with increased aggression. Some drugs that alter serotonin levels increase aggressive behaviour
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How is dopamine linked?
Link not as well established as serotonin - high levels thought to increase aggressive behaviour
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What are the hormones that are linked to aggression?
Testosterone and cortisol
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How is testosterone linked?
High levels increase aggression from young adulthood onwards due to actions on brain areas that control aggression
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What was Dabbs et al's study into this?
Measured salivary testosterone in violent and non-violent criminals, highest levels - criminals with history of violent crime. Low levels - criminals with history of non-violent crime
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How is cortisol linked to aggression?
Mediating effect on other aggression related hormones as increases anxiety and chance of social withdrawal. High levels inhibit testosterone and aggression. Low levels increase aggression as testosterone can increase it
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What was Raleigh et al's study?
Vervet monkeys, those fed on diets high in tryptophan (increases serotonin) showed lower levels of aggression than those on normal diets. Serotonin levels linked to aggression
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What was Couppis and Kennedy's study?
Mice, response to aggressive encounter engages reward pathway where dopamine is positive reinforcer. Individuals will seek aggressive encounter as experience rewarding sensation. Supports dopamine link
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What was McBurnett et al's study?
4 year study of boys with behavioural problems, consistently low cortisol levels = antisocial at younger age and 3x aggressive symptoms compared to boys with higher/fluctuating cortisol levels
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How are studies gender biased?
Studies concerning aggression/testosterone involve male participants. Ignore impact of testosterone on aggression in women. Baucom et al - women with high testosterone had higher occupational status - due to being more assertive/dominant?
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What studies are used to establish role of genes in aggression?
Twin studies and adoption studies
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How are twin studies used?
Compare similarity in aggressive behaviour between MZ and DZ twins, if MZ more alike then suggests genes not environment influencing aggression.
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How are adoption studies used?
Positive correlation between adopted child and biological parents - aggression is genetic, positive correlation between adopted child and adoptive parents - aggression due to environment
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How is aggression related to MAOA?
Gene that codes for protein MAOA is associated with aggression. MAOA regulates metabolism of serotonin in brain - low levels associated with aggressive and impulsive behaviour
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What was Brunner et al's study of the Dutch family?
Many male members behaved violently and aggressively, many involved in violent crimes. All had low levels of MAOA and defect in gene was identified
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What was Caspi et al's study into genes and environment?
500 male children, discovered variant of gene causing high levels of MAOA and variant causing low levels. Those with low levels = more likely to grow up and show antisocial behaviour, ONLY if maltreated as child. Suggests interaction
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Why is it difficult to determine the role of genes?
More than one gene contributes to behaviour, often non genetic factors e.g. environment influence aggression. Also could be gene/environment interactions that influence aggressive behaviour
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What was Miles and Carey's meta analysis?
24 twin and adoption studies, parent/participant self report methods, some observsations. Found strong genetic influence that could account for 50% of variance in aggression. Age important - genes and family important for youth
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How is animal research related?
Studies of animals important for helping understand role of genes, rodents can be GM to test effects of specific genes on aggressive behaviour - selective breeding or elimination of a gene
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Relating to this, what was Young's study?
Found a genetic mutation that causes violence in mice, counterpart exists in humans although function not known
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What does evolutionary explanation claim as the 2 main causes of human aggression?
Jealousy and infidelity
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How does jealousy relate to aggression?
Men cannot be sure they are the father, risk of cuckoldry - may invest resources in child that isnt theirs. Adaptive function is to deter mate from sexual infidelity to minimise risk of cuckoldry, aggressive serves this purpose
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What was Buss' findings of mate retention strategies?
Males have evolved number of mate retention strategies. Includes - restricting partners autonomy, negative inducements by violence or threats of violence against women perceived to be threatening infidelity
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How is infidelity related to aggression?
Voluntary sexual relations between married individual and someone other than their spouse. Can lead to violence/aggression in form of sexual coercion or ****, or violence to terminate a pregnanct
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What did Daley et al suggest?
Detection or suspicion of infidelity is a key predictor in partner violence
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What did Shackelford et al suggest?
Men guard against infidelity by conferring benefits or inflicting costs, those that cant provide benefits are prone to inflicting costs in form of violence/threat of violence
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What did Camileri and Quinsey find?
Men convicted of ****** partners were more likely to have experienced cuckoldry risks prior to offence than men convicted of non-sexual abuse. Supports that aggression is used to prevent infidelity as this can cause cuckoldry
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What did Valladeres et al find?
Nicaraguan study, 1/2 sample of pregnant women suffered blows directed at stomach, designed to increase chance of aborting. Being pregnant with a child percieved to be another mans can increase violence
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What was Buss and Shackleford's study?
Men that suspected infidelity from wives - exacted greater punishment over next year for known/suspected infidelity than men that didnt anticipate infidelity. Suggests mate retention strategies only evolved when adaptive problem faced - infidelity
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How is research gender biased?
Focusses on mens violence against women, violence against men by women also occurs. Felson found out of 2060 murders in US, women 2x more likely to murder out of jealousy than men
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What are the two evolutionary explanations of group aggression?
Xenophobia (sport) and evolution (warfare)
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What is Xenophobia and where is found?
Fear and hatred of foreigners or stranger. Present often at sports events in forms of racial chants or signals
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What is believed to be the cause?
Natural selection - favoured genes that cause humans to be altruistic to members of own group but intolerant to outsiders. Prompts stranger suspicion, helps avoid attack and enhanced survival (adaptive benefit)
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How is xenophobia related to territory?
Xenophobia is protective response to invasion of territory. Players feel greater burden when defending home territory, aggressive displays may be used to intimidate opponents e.g. Hakka - adaptive function for ancestors, defend resources in territory
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How can warfare be explained by evolution?
Males more likely to escape infanticide as have potential battle uses
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How are males aggressive traits beneficial for sexual selection?
Men compete with men for mates, those who do well in battle gain access to female mate - aggressive/bravery displays attractive to female - aggressive traits adaptive as help reproductive fitness
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How does warfare promote social solidarity?
Costliness of permament displays e.g. scars, are signal of commitment to group. Also minimise chance of males joining another group
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What was Foldesi's hungarian study?
Xenophobia increases violence in football crowds - found racist conduct of core of extremist supports in Hungarian football crowds increased spectator violence and xenophobic outbursts
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What is the RWA of xenophobia?
Power of xenophobia to cause violence has motivated football clubs to try and minimise its influence. e.g. Bundesliga in 1992 - all teams wore shorts saying "my friend is a foreigner"
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What was Palmer and Tilley's study?
Male youth street gang members have more sexual partners than non-gang members. Supports importance of aggressive displays in determining sexual attractiveness of males to women
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What was LeBlanc and Register's study?
War started when humans went from nomadic to settled existence, more to fight over. Warfare emerged as rational response to changing lifestyle not as evolved adaptation. Warfare due to environmental changes e.g. people:food, not genes and evolution
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How is this theory gender biased?
Doesnt account for women in warfare explanations, women warriors are rare as less to gain and more to lose reproductively.
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What are the 4 stages of social learning theory?


Observation, mental representation, maintenance through direct experience and self efficacy expectances

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What happens in the observation stage?


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What happens in mental representation?


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What happens in maintenance through direct experience?


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