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Psychology - Aggression

Psychology - Aggression

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  • 1. Aggression
  • 2. Social Learning Theory – Behavioural ApproachLearn from direct experience or vicarious experience(from observing others)Direct – operant conditioningVicarious – social learning theoryMore likely to act aggressively if we see aggressivebehaviour being rewardedSocial Psychological ExplanationsSocial Learning TheoryDeindividuationInstitutional Aggression
  • 3. Aggressive behaviour is influenced byPrevious experience of behaviourLikelihood of behaviour being rewardedSuccess of behaviour in pastCognitive, social and environmental factorsIs the person they are imitating a role model?SOCIAL LEARNING THEORY IS ALL ABOUT POSTIVE ANDNEGATIVE REINFORCEMENTSSocial Learning Theory
  • 4. Social Learning Theory - ResearchBandura – Bobo Doll Experiment• 66 nursery school children into 3 groups• Watching a film where an adult acted aggressively on Bobo doll• Group 1 – Aggressive model received no reward or punishment• Group 2 – Aggressive model was rewarded• Group 3 – Aggressive model was punished• Then taken to a room with Bobo doll and actions were recordedFindingsGroup 1 & 2 – Acted aggressivelyGroup 2 – Most aggressiveGroup 3 – Least aggressiveEvaluationSupports social learning theorySmall sample sizeCulturally bias – USALacks ecological validityEthical issues – behaviour wasn’t reversed
  • 5. Supported by research – Huesmann suggested childrenlearn behaviour from TVExplains why people act aggressively in differentenvironmentsExplains why some cultures are more aggressiveWolfgang – ‘culture of violence’ theoryChild soldiersTakes into account cognitive influences and free willIgnores biological factorsRelies on lab experiments conducted on children andanimals – can’t be generalisedEvaluation
  • 6. People tend not to act aggressively as it goes againstsocial normsIn some situations social norms become weakenedcausing deindividuation e.g. in a large groupProcess when a person loses sense of identity – mayresult in aggressive behaviourDeindividuation
  • 7. Commonly occurs if:In a groupWearing masks etc.Factors that cause the aggressionAnonymity – less chance of being caughtShift the blame to othersReduced responsibilityIncreased arousalDeindividuation
  • 8. Deindividuation - ResearchCase StudiesKu Klux KlanGroup that supported the suppressionof black people in USAHid their identity with masksNazi GermanyUsed to explain why many peopleignored the HolocaustMann – Baiting Crowd• Analysed suicides in USA• Found in 10/21 cases crowdhad taunted person tojump• Occurred mainly at night• More common if jumperwas at a greater distancefrom the crowd• Increased anonymityEvaluationSmall sample sizeCulturally biasedHistorically biased
  • 9. Deindividuation – ResearchZimbardoZimbardo Prison Study• Recreated prison in Stanford Uni• Participants were allocatedprisoner or prison guard• Prisoners were dehumanised –made to wear smocks and givennumbers rather than names• Guards became deindividuised –wore uniform and mirroredglasses• Study was stopped six days in dueto level of aggressionEvaluationShowed effects of deindividuation anddehumanisation as all participants passedpsychological tests before starting exp.Gender biasedCulturally biasedEthical issuesOther factors may have influenced results whichwere highlighted in BBC prison study as they gotdifferent results i.e. Zimbardo acted as prisonsuperintendentHalloween StudyFound children acted more aggressivelyonce putting on Halloween costume
  • 10. Researched into effects ofchanged appearance onaggression in warLooked at 23 societies12/13 societies that changedappearances before war weremore brutal compared thansocieties that did notDeindividuation - ResearchWatson
  • 11. A large amount of research to support itDeindividuation doesn’t always cause anti-socialbehaviour, may cause pro-social behaviourDeterministic – suggests that as soon as we are inthese groups we have no free willReductionist – simplifies the complex behaviour ofhumansCan’t explain all aggressive behaviourDeindividuation – Evaluation
  • 12. Aggressive behaviour that exists within institutionsPrisonsSchools/Colleges – HazingMilitaryInstitutional Aggression
  • 13. The inmates rather that the institution cause the aggressionBring their values and beliefs into the prisonIrwin and Cressey identified 3 groups of inmates helping support thetheory1. Criminal or Thief Subculture – When in prison they still value traitssuch as trust and not betraying others2. Convict Subculture – tend to come from deprived areas wherecrimes are high. Most likely to be aggressive3. Conventional Subculture – One off offenders who were not part ofcriminal subculture before going into the prison, identifies morewith prison officersPrisonsImportation Model
  • 14. Kane and JanusFound non-whites and younger men were more likely to actaggressivelyBecause…More likely to live in a subculture of violence and deprivationbefore entering prisonAggression may be valuedKeller and WangPrison violence most commonly occurs in prisons that holdmaximum security inmatesPrisons – Importation Model
  • 15. The institution causes the aggression rather then the inmatesAggression is caused because of the frustration of beingdeprivedSykes identified five main deprivations1. Liberty – Prisoners are not free as they are not trusted insociety2. Power – constantly being told what they have to do3. Heterosexual Relationships - inmates lose self worth as theyare being denied relationships. Fear of rape by other prisoners4. Goods and Services – deprived of materialistic things whichmay result in feeling of failure5. Security – can be in danger as other inmates are aggressivePrisons – Deprivation Model
  • 16. The institution causes the aggressionProvides the situation where someone may actaggressively – provides the heatIf you apply enough heat to a situation inmates willact aggressivelyIf one inmate acts aggressively other may then join inPrisons – Popcorn Model
  • 17. Research evidence to support all theoriesCan explain the level of aggression that occurred at Abu Ghraib –aggressive towards people that we have dehumanisedImportation model fails to explain how prisons could decreaseaggressionDeprivation model fails to explain sudden prison riotsHowever Attica prison riot was caused due to poor living conditionswithin the institution – may be due to a gradual build upPrisons - Evaluation
  • 18. In USA fraternities pledges have to do dares to gainmembership - Can be harmlessHOWEVER…1 person dies each year from hazingMatthew Carrington – Died from water intoxicationafter being forced to drink continuously from a fivegallon jugHazing
  • 19. Reasons it occursTry to create a common bond between ‘brothers’Trying to be a ‘real man’TraditionCommitment to groupLargely influenced by alcoholAlso common in the military to prove to new soldiers theycan face the challenges in the armyHazing in Russian military lead to the amputation of a soldiersleg after making him sit on ice for 4 hoursHazing
  • 20. NeurotransmittersTwo neurotransmitters linked to aggressionDopamine – high levelsSerotonin – low levelsBiological Explanation of AggressionHormonesNeurotransmittersGenetics
  • 21. Low levels of serotonin in prefrontal cortexIncrease in aggressionDecrease in ability to control impulsive responsesNeurotransmittersSerotoninMann et alArtificially decreased levels of serotoninFound an increase in aggression but only in menMethod – self report EvaluationDone on humans so can be generalisedLacks ecological validityDemand characteristics as method was self report
  • 22. High levels of dopamine increases aggressionUnclear if the aggression is caused because ofdopamine levels or if people act aggressively to get adopamine kickNeurotransmittersDopamineBuitelaarFound that by using dopamine antagonists level ofaggression decreased
  • 23. Able to explain why people act aggressively when drunk –drinking alcohol decreases serotonin levelsA lot of research that supports it – Ferrari’s study on fighting ratsFindings of MAOA support that high levels of dopamine causeaggressionFails to support the theory that low levels of serotonin causeaggressionUnclear whether it is low levels of serotonin or a low serotoninmetabolism causing aggressionDifficult to establish a link between dopamine and aggressiondue to experimental difficultiesEvaluation - Neurotransmitters
  • 24. Two hormones linked to aggressionTestosterone – high levelsCortisol – low levelsHormones
  • 25. Found in both men and women – higher levels in menLevels of testosterone peak in young adult malesExplains why it tends to be younger males that actaggressivelyDecreases as you get olderTestosterone makes it more likely to act aggressivelyEnvironmental factors have a massive influenceHormonesTestosteroneArcher et alCarried out meta analysisFound a weak positive correlation between aggression and testosterone
  • 26. Kouri et alDouble blind procedureNeither participants or researcher knew who had what doseParticipants – young malesGroup 1 – given doses of testosteroneGroup 2 – given doses of placeboThose who had been given testosterone showed an increase indominant behaviourEvaluationDouble blind study – reduces chance of demand characteristicsShows a link between aggression and dominance/aggressionEthical issues – effects were not reversedHormonesTestosterone
  • 27. Hormone produced by adrenal medulla – important inthe reaction to stressLow levels of cortisol = high levels of aggressionLow ANS arousal is unpleasant so acting aggressively is away of provoking a release in cortisolCortisol inhibits aggressive behaviourHormonesCortisolMcBurnett – Longitudinal studyResearched young boys that had low levels of cortisol and behavioural problemsFound• Started doing antisocial behaviours at an earlier age• Demonstrated 3x more aggressive symptoms than normal
  • 28. Large amount of research to support the links betweenboth hormones and increase in aggressionLink is strong in sport for those athletes who taketestosterone supplementsResearch on testosterone can be inconsistent – Bain et alfound no difference in testosterone levels betweencriminals that had committed violent crimes and criminalsthat committed non-violet crimesContradictory research when looking at levels of cortisolEvaluation - Hormones
  • 29. Suggests that aggression is influenced by genetic factorsThe majority of research is found by:Twin studiesAdoption studiesAnalysis of human genomeGenetic Factors
  • 30. Aggression is highly correlated in MZ twinsMcGuffinConcordance rate of 87% of aggressive behaviour in MZ twinsConcordance rate of 72% of aggressive behaviour in DZ twinsEvaluationSuccessfully shows the influence of genetic factorsEcologically validTwins would have been raised together so it’s unclear whetherit’s genetics or environmental influencesGenetic FactorsTwin StudiesMason and FrickMeta – analysisConcluded that 50% of differences between anti social and non-antisocial behaviour is down to genetics
  • 31. If an adopted child demonstrates aggressive traits that their biologicalparents had then it must be geneticsIf results are that they demonstrate traits of their adoptive parents thenit must be environmental influencesDanish StudyReviewed 14,000 adoption casesFound strong correlation between criminal convictions of biologicalparents against criminal convictions of their adopted sonsEvaluationMassive sample sizeSupports genetic theoryIs only correlationalGenetic FactorsAdoption Studies
  • 32. Rhee and Waldman 2002Meta analysisOn 51 twin and adoption studiesFindings4o% of antisocial behaviour was genetics60% of antisocial behaviour was environmentalEvaluationShows links with genetics and environmental influencesUsed different types of methods to collect data throughoutstudy having an impact on the results – not validGenetic FactorsTwin and AdoptionStudies
  • 33. Button et al – found that the hereditability ofaggression was stronger in girls than in boysRare to get MZ or DZ twins that were brought upseparately from one another, unknown if aggressionis due to genetics or environmentUnclear whether aggression in adoption studies isdue to genetics or from the feeling of rejectionEvaluation – Genetic Factors
  • 34. An aggressive geneCandidate genes are:DRD4 & DRD3 – dopamine receptorsIf damaged may cause aggressionMeta-analysis found link between DR and ADHDMAOA – enzyme which digests serotonin and dopamineBrunner et alFamily in the Netherlands in which most of the males wereextremely violentTraced it back to the 1800’s and found that many other males in familyhad been aggressiveThey all had low level of MAOAGenetic FactorsGenetics
  • 35. High amount of research to support that aggressionis influences by biological factorsDeterministic – claims that we have no choice in beingaggressive so could be used to get away with crimeIgnores other factors that could have an influenceResearched by lab studies – lacks ecological validityAnimal studies – ethical issuesEvaluation of Biological
  • 36. Aggression is an adaptive response to help us surviveand produce healthy offspringEvolutionary Explanation ofAggressionNatural SelectionCharacteristics that enhance survival are passed onCharacteristics of those that don’t reproduce are not passed onSexual SelectionMay be some characteristics that are passed on that hinder our ability to survive i.e.peacocks tail weighs it down so can’t run away from predatorsHowever it increases chance of finding a mate to produce offspring
  • 37. Men have evolved mate retention strategies to keep theirmates – so they can pass on their geneticsMate guardingPrevents mate from talking or being near other malesLooking through personal belongings – phonesDomestic abuseNeeds to avoid being cuckolded – bringing up anothermales offspring without knowingInfidelity and JealousyDaly and Wilson
  • 38. Large sample of men and women in relationships from the USA (men andwomen were not together)Men completed MRIFound males used 2 mate retention strategiesIntersexual negative inducements (shouting at her)Direct guardingFound males who used emotional manipulation were more likely to be aggressiveWomen answered questions about partners mate retention strategiesConfirmed findings from previous study on the malesInfidelity and JealousyShackelfordEvaluationLarge sample sizeOnly correlational – cannot identify cause and effectOnly done on young participantsCulturally biased
  • 39. Unlike females, for males there is a level of uncertainty regardingwhether offspring is biologically theirs or another mansCamilleri – Cuckoldry Risk HypothesisWhen risk of cuckoldry is high chance of sexual coercion increasesLalumiere et alSupports Camilleri as found men are more likely to carry out rapeto decrease parental uncertaintyExamples in animals…Lions often kill the cubs of other malesChimps often kill rival malesInfidelity and JealousyCuckoldry
  • 40. Research supports that sexual jealousy is often a majorfactor involved in domestic violenceStudies by Camilleri support the idea that men who rapetheir partners often believe that they are being unfaithfulSupported by events in wildlifeTheory can be used to spot early signs of when domesticviolence may occur, preventing it from happeningDeterministic – suggests the behaviour is adaptivetherefore can be used as an excuse for rapeEvaluation – Infidelity and Jealousy
  • 41. Murder must have been beneficial at some point in ourevolutionary historyPreventing harmMaintaining reputationProtection of resourcesWomen find men who are more dominant moreattractive – may be why aggression occursEvolution of MurderBuss and Duntley
  • 42. Daly and WilsonFound that men and women murder for different thingsMen kill out of sexual rivalryWomen kill out of self defenceFound that men were more aggressive in their early 20’sat the peak of the reproductive competitionCould be due to testosteroneEvolution of MurderGender Differences
  • 43. Sexual JealousyMen are commonly both the killers and victimsDaly and Wilson found that in same sex murders involvinglove triangle 92% were between malesLack of resourcesFemales are attracted to men with resourcesDaly and Wilson found most of the murderers in Detroit wereunemployedThreats to statusFemales are attracted to dominanceEvolution of MurderThree Factors
  • 44. Commonly seen in natureHigh levels of researchIgnores cognitive processesDeterministicMost people do not murder their reproductivecompetitionCannot explain cultural differencesEvaluation of Murder
  • 45. Belief that people behave differently in groupsLynch mobsDehumanisationPower Threat HypothesisAs minority groups grow so do majority groups in orderto display dominanceWhen number of African-American citizens increasedlynching increased as a power displayGroup Displays
  • 46. DehumanisationIn lynchings the bodies were often broken down orburnt so victims couldn’t be recognised as humanBlack people were perceived by lynch groups as beinganimalisticSeen in Nazi Germany by the way in which Jewishpeople were treatedGroup Displays
  • 47. Large amount of evidence for dehumanisation –commonly still occurs in many countriesMainly based on case studies so is validNot reliable as cannot be generalisedContradictory evidence to power threat hypothesis –a lot of people who have been murdered in groupdisplays of aggression are those who are of no threatCan be just as easily explained throughdeindividuationEvaluation
  • 48. Rituals in certain cultures and religions can beextremely brutal and aggressiveIn Islam there is a ritual where you beat yourself withchains and knives until bloody to pay respects to amartyrSeems to contradict the evolutionary theoryThey do it because…Shows commitmentCo-operation which can be described as adaptiveGroup Displays - Culture
  • 49. Aggression is common in sport and in warSportIntimidates other teamHaka – All BlacksBrings them all into the same mentalityFans may be aggressive to show commitmentPodalin et alXenophobia in football matches strengthened culturalidentity of the supportGroup Displays – War and Sport
  • 50. WarImportant to show high commitment to ensuresurvivalBinds group togetherChagnonTribe in Amazon who fight for womenSuccess in battle gives men higher statusMen who had not killed were rarely marriedGroup Displays – War and Sport