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Discuss research into the effects of environmental stressors on aggressive behaviour

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Introduction

Discuss research into the effects of environmental stressors on aggressive behaviour (24 marks) Temperature may be causally linked to aggression by the ways in which it is causally linked to other factors, which are also causally linked to aggression. The 'routine activity theory' by Cohen and Felson supports the idea that aggression is indirectly related to aggression. The theory states that in hot weather people are more likely to change their routines e.g. spend more time outdoors and have more contact with other people. The increase in alcohol consumption as well as this may also add to the problem. On the other hand Baron and Bell put forward the 'negative affect escape theory', which shows a direct link between temperature and aggression. The theory claims that as the temperature increases, the negative mood increases. ...read more.

Middle

This doesn't support the idea that if the temperature increased the person will long for escape from the heat. Another source of aggression is said to be crowding, that a person does not have enough space. If a person does not have enough space they are said to be physiologically aroused and aggressive, which may weaken their sense of control. Calhoun moved an entire rat population into one enclosed space. He found the more that the rat population increased, so did the aggressive behaviour. A study by Schmitt also found that as the population of Honolulu increased so did the rates of crime. Although crowding has been found to be a cause of aggression, the description doesn't explain any situations where crowding is desirable. ...read more.

Conclusion

Noise may also increase levels of stress, which also may lead to aggression. Evans et al. Found that children in the flight path were more likely to show physiological signs of stress than children in quieter areas. Bronzaft found that people who lived near airports often complained of tiredness. This therefore supports Evans conclusion was that the aggression shown after the noises was heard was due to the arousal from the tiredness rather than the noise being a direct stressor. There is support for the claim that noise is a cue for aggressive behaviour, participants who watched a non-aggressive film did not react in an aggressive manor afterwards. This shows that if not previously aroused, we are unlikely to become aggressive when exposed to noise. , Unit 4 Abigale Hardy Effects of Environmental Stressors on Aggressive Behaviour. 13 VKE ...read more.

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