Hormonal and Neural mechanisms in aggression

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  • Created by: beth reid
  • Created on: 20-04-14 09:58
Describe the relationship between serotonin, dopamine and aggression
low levels of serotonin = aggression, high levels of dopamine = aggression
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Outline Mann et al's study
He gave 35 participants dexfenfluramine, a drug known to deplete serotonin. They then completed a questionnaire which assessed levels of aggression and hostility. The drug was associated with higher scores in males but not females
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Give 2 evaluation points of Mann et al's study
Low sample size therefore difficult to generalise. Questionnaires are not the most accurate method to measuring aggression levels, it is difficult to rate the severity of feelings, social desirability
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Outline Raleigh et al's study
fed monkeys in an experimental condition a diet high in tryptophan which increases serotonin levels. The monkeys in that condition were less aggressive than a control group
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Give 2 evaluation points of Raleigh et al's study
Monkeys - difficult to generalise, could be considered as unethical to experiment on animals. Subjectivity in observing levels of aggression, investigator bias
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Discuss the determinism debate
The theory that aggression is the result of neural mechanisms is highly deterministic, it implies that we have no free will over controlling our aggressive behaviour.
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How might socio-psychological theories be more useful in explaining aggression?
They accept that our potential for aggression is biologically determined however our expression is learnt; we imitate the behaviour of our role models therefore we do have free will. We learn when it is appropriate to be aggressive and how to express
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Outline Lavine's study
Found that increased dopamine activity via the use of amphetamines has been associated with higher levels of aggression
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Outline Couppis and Kennedy's study
Mice produced dopamine in response to an aggressive event, therefore we might seek aggressive encounters to gain the rewarding feeling caused by the release of dopamine
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According to Couppis and Kennedy's findings which two approaches should we consider whilst explaining aggression?
Neural and Hormonal and Learning - operant conditioning works with biological mechanisms in aggressive behaviour. There is an interaction between nature and nurture
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Describe the relationship between testosterone, cortisol and aggression
High levels of testosterone = aggression, Cortisol is a stress hormone which inhibits testosterone therefore low levels are associated with aggression
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Outline Dabb's et al's study
Measured the salivary testosterone of criminals. Those with the highest levels had a history of violent crimes and those with the lowest levels had a history of only non-violent crimes
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Describe two issues with Dabb's et al's study
Only studied criminals who might have a different biological make-up to the general population, difficult to generalise. Ignores the psychological element to violent crimes e.g - individual motivations, peer pressures
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Outline McBurnett's study of cortisol
4 year study of boys with behavioural problems, those with lowest levels of cortisol began anti-social acts at a younger age and had three times the number of aggressive symptoms in boys with higher or fluctuating levels
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How might the theory be useful to real life scenarios?
Drug treatments can be provided to those with high levels of aggression to keep them under control
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Card 2

Front

Outline Mann et al's study

Back

He gave 35 participants dexfenfluramine, a drug known to deplete serotonin. They then completed a questionnaire which assessed levels of aggression and hostility. The drug was associated with higher scores in males but not females

Card 3

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Give 2 evaluation points of Mann et al's study

Back

Preview of the front of card 3

Card 4

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Outline Raleigh et al's study

Back

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Card 5

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Give 2 evaluation points of Raleigh et al's study

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