The Warrior Gene

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What does this theory state people inherit?
a genetic mutation
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What does the genetic mutation cause?
a deficiency in MAO-A
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What is MAO-A and what does it do?
it is an enzyme which breaksdown excess neurotransmitters such as noradreneline and dopamine.
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What does MAO-A inhibit?
it inhibits the pre-frontal cortex which controls emotions such as fear and anger
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How do the excess neurotransmitters effect the individual?
the excess neurotransmitters predispose the individual to become aggressive.
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What is a valid IDA point for this theory?
Socially sensitive
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Why is the theory SO socially sensitive? (IDA)
it suggests that people who inherited the mutation will have little control over their aggression, this would blame parents and remove fault/blame from the aggressive individual.
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How is labelling relevant to this theory? (IDA)
when people discover they have the gene then it would lead people to assume they were aggressive, even when the individual has never expressed such behaviour = could limit job prospects as they are labelled as aggressive
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Name two pieces of research for the theory
Brunner and Vishnivetskaya
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What did the Brunner study show?
they found that men in a family who had inherited the warrior gene had higher levels of chemicals associated with neurotransmitters in their urine.
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Why does the Brunner research support the theory?
it shows the men were deficient in MAO-A as they had not released enough to breakdown the neurotransmitters, this would suggest they were predisposed to aggressive and violent behaviour.
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What did the research by Vishnivetskaya find?
mice that lacked MAO-A (Tg8) displayed increased levels of aggression, both territorial and predatory compared to a control group of mice.
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Why does the research by Vishnivetskaya only partially support the theory?
although the Tg8 mice showed higher levels of aggression they were not more aggressive to juvenile mice. this shows they could control their aggression. this contradicts the theory that they should have less control over their aggression completely.
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What is a negative aspect of the research by Vishnivetskaya? (AO3)
it was conducted on mice, therefore it is difficult to generalise to humans and reduces the external validity of the study.
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What is a negative aspect of the research by Brunner? (AO3)
the study was a family case study, there could have been numerous extraneous variables and therefore the internal validity is quite low.
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What is a suitable wider evalutation point for the theory?
in order for there to be practical applications there needs to be more research which is convincing, currently there are better theories for explaining aggression like the Social Learning Theory.
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Other cards in this set

Card 2

Front

What does the genetic mutation cause?

Back

a deficiency in MAO-A

Card 3

Front

What is MAO-A and what does it do?

Back

Preview of the front of card 3

Card 4

Front

What does MAO-A inhibit?

Back

Preview of the front of card 4

Card 5

Front

How do the excess neurotransmitters effect the individual?

Back

Preview of the front of card 5
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