• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Aggression and the Social Learning Theory

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

This essay will address how the study of social influence can be used to explain acts of aggression and what can be done to reduce the negative impact of social influence on human behaviour. The first part of the essay will concentrate on explaining acts of aggression, with the focus on aggression being learned from role models or media, with the second part of the essay focussing on how aggression can be reduced, and the impact it has on human behaviour, using the social learning theory as the main concentration for reduction. "Social Influence. Process whereby attitudes and behaviour are influenced by the real or implied presence of other people" (Hogg Michael A & Vaughan Graham M, 2005, p244) Aggression is a physical or verbal behaviour that is intended to hurt someone. There are two main types of aggression, hostile arising from anger and it's aim is to hurt, and instrumental which aims to hurt only with a particular goal in mind. Social influence considers an individual's need to comply, obey and conform. Conformity occurs in many situations where social norms are in existence calling for 'proper behaviour'; obedience is the impact of power from an individual in a perceived position of authority either real or imagined, compliance is the response to a request for others to go along with the group majority. ...read more.

Middle

What social influences have caused the mushrooming violence?" (Myers David G 2005, p398). There are, however, within social influence other influences of aggression. "Bandura believes that everyday life exposes us to aggressive models in the family, the subculture and the mass media" (Myers David G 2005, p391). If this quotation is taken literally, then it should be believed that physically aggressive children tend to have been subjected to physically disciplinary parents, who according to Patterson in 1982, "disciplined them by modelling aggression with screaming, slapping and beating" (Myers David G 2005, p391). Aggression, it could be said, is breeding aggression, which leads to the culture viewpoint, in communities where there is a predominant gang culture, especially that of teenage gangs who often give the newly joined junior members aggressive role models, to grow up, worship, imitate and follow, and the newly joined member's desire to comply with the group majority. There is no doubting the fact that children are exposed to a great deal of media violence. There are many influencing categories of media; newspapers, magazines, books, records, films, television, DVDs, and more recently that of interactive computer games. Media is used very cleverly to direct an individuals attention towards particular issues and away from others. Children playing an aggressive computer game is being drawn towards the issue of aggression and fighting to kill, and drawn away from the social norm of aggression and fighting to kills is not usual behaviour. ...read more.

Conclusion

In families, parents would be raising less aggressive children by themselves not rewarding acts of violence from the child, by rewarding good non aggressive behaviour, and by not using punishing behaviour themselves towards the child. (Hogg Michael et al, 2005). There has already been evidence that at the interpersonal level social skills training, non aggressive modelling, anger management and assertiveness training has been effective in teaching people self control, however, it will be linked to a number of varying factors, such as a person's individual learning history, alcohol abuse, the way they handle their own frustration for example. However, much hope for reducing the negative impact on aggression, can be drawn from the social learning approach to aggression which allows changes to take place over a period of time. (Myers David G, 2005) "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world" (Mead Margaret, Anthropologist, cited in Myers David G, 2005, p285). In conclusion, the study of social influence, using the social learning theory as the tool, has shown how acts of aggression can be learned through imitation and reward, and how through reversing the process using the social learning theory, the negative impact of social influence on human behaviour can be achieved. Total word count: 2200 Student: Justine Nathan Tutor: James Pudney 1 Student No: 120136 December 2007 Foundations to Psychology 1 Module: PSY59-1 Student: Justine Nathan Tutor: Chris Crooks Level 2 - Counselling Skills November 2007 ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Social Psychology section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Social Psychology essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    Preventing and Reducing Crime

    3 star(s)

    Criminal behaviour is learned rather than inherited or invented by individuals, 2) it is learned in social interaction, and; 3) within intimate personal groups, rather than the media, 4) what is learned includes both crime techniques and criminal motives, drives, rationalisation and attitudes, 5)

  2. Behavioural Management Strategies

    manage behaviour in the setting; this approach lets the child have control over their life and choices made involving them. This approach allows the child to develop their self esteem and confidence whilst helping them feel valued by others. The child is responsible of making their own decisions and learning from the mistakes they make from these choices.

  1. The experiment conducted tested the theory of conformity under the influence of group pressure.

    This was to allow the experimenter to deduct whether any of the participants had any visual perception problems and also ensured that all the participants understood the concept of the questions that they would be asked. One sheet of paper containing the Standardised Instructions (Appendix ii).

  2. Causes of Aggressive Behavior

    In the direct-cause paradigm, it is shown that those who drink become less inhibited and more prone to act aggressively, as the alcohol has an anaesthetizing effect on certain areas of the brain that control "socially unacceptable behaviors such as aggression" (Graham, 1980).

  1. How effective is the social learning theory in explaining aggressive behaviour?

    Also, the children may have believed that they were meant to behave aggressively. According to the SLT, if a child has a violent parent (when the aggression is either directed towards the child or towards other people) the child will be more likely to behave violently than the children to parents who are not violent.

  2. Effect of category and hierachy on recall

    of cognitive abilities in students and not only people who were 'free' at the time. This method could be done by picking 10 males and females randomly from each year group. This would mean a total of 140 subjects would be used and therefore would be a much more representative sample, however this is not necessarily realistic.

  1. Persuasion Theory.

    PR campaign to stop the violence against families in Northern Ireland by the (seemingly) simple methods of meetings with like-minded people, producing leaflets, appearing on the media and lobbying government. Likewise, Greenpeace's campaign to get Shell to stop sinking the Brent Spar oil rig in the North Atlantic was also a persuasive battle for the hearts and minds of consumers.

  2. On-line and off-line personae in the virtual communities.

    Identity workshop: Emergent social and psychological phenomena in text-based virtual reality. Unpublished dissertation, MIT Media Laboratory. * Croft, R., Lea, M. & Giordano, R. (1994). The social construction of computer use: Stories from the 'real world'. In S. Howard & Y.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work