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Biological Explanations Of Aggression

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Biological Explanations Of Aggression One explanation for aggression from the biological perspective is the role of neurotransmitters. These include Serotonin, Dopamine and Testosterone. They all have different levels for different levels of aggression. Another explanation is genetic factors. Whether aggression is inherited. With neurotransmitters, Serotonin is associated with controlling aggression. Low levels lead to aggressive and impulsive behaviour. One study which investigates this is where 32 healthy participants were given either given a drug which lowers Serotonin or vice versa. The results found that the ones with lower levels were aggressive. The study's results were recorded with a self report questionnaire. This study supports the idea that Serotonin has a role in aggression. The study itself is also valid in terms of population validity. The participants were all healthy so a strong comparison can easily be made. However the sample is quite small, so this reduces validity. Also it is based on results from a self report questionnaire so social desirability bias may play a part. ...read more.


Dopamine was a positive reinforce of this pathway, but not the cause of its stimulation. This suggests a different idea from the previous study, that dopamine is a side effect of aggression, not the cause of it. This study however cannot be generalised as well as it is on mice and not humans. Also it is hard to study the brain and exactly what is happening. The researchers cannot be 100% with what they found. Though the evidence isn't as strong, it has been found that Testosterone has a role in aggression levels. High levels are generally associated with aggression however. One study looked at men who had committed violent crimes. It found that the ones who committed the most violent crimes had the highest levels of testosterone. This suggests that Testosterone is directly linked to violent behaviour, however like the research on dopamine it could also be a side effect rather than the main cause of aggression. ...read more.


They studies 14,000 adopted children from Denmark and found that a significant number of boys with criminal convictions had biological fathers with criminal convictions. This suggests that only boys are effected genetically. However this study doesn't take into account the severity of the crimes and the amount of re-offences. MAOA is a gene which has been found to be linked to aggression. No gene has been found to be linked to aggression except the one which releases the protein MAOA. MAOA regulates the levels of Serotonin, which is linked to aggressive and impulsive behaviour. A study which supports this was done on a Dutch family which were all reported of committing violent crimes. The fact that they all committed violent crimes suggests that their could either be a genetic or environmental factor playing a role. When it was investigated however it was found that they all had ineffective genes which produced the protein MAOA. It was only the males ones again however who were reported being aggressive. This suggests the idea, again like the previous study, that only men are effected by gene abnormalities associated with aggression. ...read more.

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