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

Outline and evaluate two social psychological theories of aggression

Extracts from this document...


Outline and evaluate two social psychological theories of aggression Aggression can be defined in many different ways. Bandura suggests that it is the intent to cause harm to another human being who is motivated to avoid such treatment. It can manifest itself in many different ways; these include in sport, for example, a dangerous tackle from behind in football, in the workplace, school or in other public sections such as nightclubs. In fact it has been found that alcohol, noise, crowded spaces and temperature are all influences over aggressive behaviour. For example, Baron and Bell found that aggressive behaviour increased as the temperature increased, meaning that the hotter it gets, the more aggressive a person will be. However, they also found that there was a drop off point. This means that if the temperature got too hot, for example at an unbearable point, then people weren't aggressive anymore. The first main theory of aggression is the Social Learning Theory. It was proposed by Bandura in 1961, and is based on the idea that people copy aggressive behaviour from others. ...read more.


The Social Learning Theory is helpful because it accounts for cultural and individual variation, and it helps to explain why we behave aggressively in some situations, and not others, for example with vicarious punishment and vicarious reinforcement. It is supported by a study by Bandura, which suggested that children imitate an adult's behaviour when hitting a Bobo doll. However, there is nothing to suggest that children would act the same to another child or that the effects of the aggression were long-lasting. However, there are many criticisms with the Social Learning Theory approach. For example, there are other studies which say that observational learning isn't the only thing aggression depends on. Patterson et al conducted a study on child's development of aggression and found that aggression isn't just caused by imitating others, but also by a disrupted attachment bond between a parent and child. Other causes included the fact that the parental behaviours provoked aggressiveness in children and therefore weren't from copying the parents. ...read more.


This cue could be something obvious such as a gun but could also be alcohol-related images or simply a name which observers associate with aggression. This theory is supported by Harris, who found that participants who were in a queue got more aggressive when someone pushed in front of them when they were second in the queue rather than when they were twelfth in the queue. According to the Frustration-Aggression Hypothesis, this was because the participants were closer to their goal of getting to the front of the queue. Kulik and Brown asked students to make telephone appeals for charity and told they were likely to be very successful. Frustration was created by all appeals being refused by confederates. Those students who heard an external reason for not giving to charity were less aggressive than those who heard a personality reason such as "all charito The main criticism of this theory it is an old theory, and has been developed very little. It assumes that that frustration always leads to some form of aggression and aggression always stems from frustration, but this has found not to be true. It is also vague and doesn't go into a lot of detail. ...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. Peer reviewed

    Outline and evaluate two social psychological theories of aggression

    5 star(s)

    This supports the theories claims that behaviour can be learned through observation. A criticism of this study is that it only used children participants, so we are unable to generalise these results to adults.

  2. Bilogical aggression

    Going away to university for example, places a great strain on existing relationships, and is often responsible for their breakdown (Shaver et al., 1985). While enduring romantic relationships can be strong enough to survive the pressures of decreased daily contact, it is evidence that for many this is not the case.

  1. The Matching Hypothesis

    I have also created a similar graph for the random couples. This graph shows there is a slightly negative correlation between the 2 sets of average scores. Again I have circled 2 rogue results as I believe without them the correlation would be more positive.

  2. Outline two social psychological theories of aggression.

    This may be appropriate for trivial crimes or in a situation where the offender does not require treatment. These reforms have had a major effect on the law of insanity. It seems almost surprising that up until 1991 defendants found not guilty by reason of insanity were automatically committed to a mental hospital.

  1. Pro and Anti Social Behaviour

    as the stress the need for independence rather than on the reliance of others (they emphasise 'I' rather than 'we'). In contrast, its argued non-western cultures such as Japan and Isreal are collectivist cultures, where individuals share tasks, belongings and income (they emphasise 'we' rather than 'I').

  2. Outline & Evaluate, one or more, Social Psychological Theories of Aggression

    Furthermore, Bandura found that the children imitated the model of the same sex more than the model of a different sex. This supports the Social Learning Theories of aggression as the children learnt through observation of the role model, imitation of their behaviour and behaviour shaping.

  1. Discuss two or more social psychological theories of aggression

    Individuals who wore a hood and had their identity disclosed, administered electric shocks to a learner for twice as long as an identifiable person. However, it should be noted this study was controlled in a lab environment and therefore generalisability of these findings outside this setting are to be interpreted with caution.

  2. Outline and evaluate two or more social psychological theories of aggression.

    wore military styles uniforms and silver reflector sunglasses, making eye contact impossible. It was thought that this disguised appearances and deindividuation was what caused the guards to show aggressive behaviour. Also during this experiment prisoners were dehumanised and thus deindividuated by the clothes they wore and being addressed only by

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