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Outline and evaluate at least two theories of aggression

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Introduction

Outline and evaluate at least two theories of aggression- The two theories of aggression I have focused on are social learning theory and deindividuation. Social learning theory Bandura (1965) claims that aggressive behaviour is learned either through direct experience or vicarious experience. The social learning theory suggests that we primarily learn to be aggressive by observing the aggressive behaviour of those around us, in particular someone significant in our lives. The idea of direct experience is taken from Skinners principal of operant conditioning. For example if a child pushes another child and gets rewarded for it, the behaviour is encouraged and is likely to be repeated. Vicarious behaviour is learned through observational experience. Theorists say that for behaviour to be adapted it must be reinforced in order to be rewarding in some way. ...read more.

Middle

However, questions are raised about aggression towards human beings as Bobo dolls are toys and do not retaliate when hit. The study also contains ethical issues, as questions are raised as to whether children suffered future aggressive behaviour problems as it suggested that they were not debriefed or told what was 'the right thing.' Other investigations have cast a doubt on Bandura's conclusion of children learning aggressive behaviour merely through a film, in one study nursery school children who behaved most violently towards the doll were also rated by their teachers and peers as being most violently generally (Johnston et al 1977). A particular strength of the social learning theory is its ability to explain differences in levels of aggression in different cultures. ...read more.

Conclusion

The study is shown to have many issues with it starting from its deterministic view, giving participants lack of control. The lack of conformed consent resulted in the prisoners experiencing a lot of humiliation and distress. Harm was done to participants physically and psychologically. The lack of ecological validity means that the conditions may not correlate with real prison life. This study is seen to be similar to the Abu Gharib Prison study. There is much evidence that deindividuation may sometimes produce prosocial behaviour rather than antisocial behaviour. According to the deindividuation perspective when we are submerged in a group, this undermines the influence of social norms. There has also been much evidence of deindividuation in football crowds. The stereotypical images of fans on the rampage suggest aggressive and antisocial behaviour. Jyotsna Choudrie ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

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