• 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...

Introduction

Outline and evaluate two social psychological theories of aggression. (24 marks) Bandura believed that the potential for aggression may be biological, but the expression of aggression is learned. The social-learning theory (SLT) states that learning occurs through observation of a model. Imitation of an observed behaviour is more likely if the model is someone we aspire to or identify with or if they are rewarded. This is vicarious reinforcement. A child forms a mental representation of an event, including the possible rewards or punishments of the behaviour. When a child imitates an aggressive behaviour, they gain direct experience, and the outcome of the behaviour influences the value of aggression for the child. ...read more.

Middle

However, Philips found that the daily homicide rate in America increases in the week after a major boxing match on TV, providing evidence of social learning in adults. An advantage of the SLT is that it can explain differences between individuals, e.g. cultural differences and also differences within individuals, which can be explained by selective reinforcement and context-dependent learning, which is when people have observed aggressive behaviour rewarded in one situation and not in another. A limitation of SLT is that it is not a complete explanation of aggression, as it can't explain the impulse to aggress. After observing aggressive behaviour, people only behave aggressively if they are frustrated. ...read more.

Conclusion

Empirical support for this theory comes from Zimbardo's study in which female students were asked to shock a confederate found that those who were deindividuated by wearing robes and large hoods gave more shocks than those who were identifiable by wearing name tags. However, a criticism of this study is that deindividuation doesn't always lead to aggression, and can sometimes make people behave more peacefully, e.g. at a peace rally or when wearing a nurses uniform. It may be that deindividuation leads to conformity to group and situational norms. Postmes and Spears carried out a meta-analysis of deindivuation studies and found no evidence that deindividuation caused anti-normative or disinhibited behaviour. Knowledge of the effect of reduced self-awareness can be used to reduce aggression in football crowds. Using mirrors and video cameras forces people to think about themselves, and reduce aggression. ?? ?? ?? ?? Emily Thomason ...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

Here's what a star student thought of this essay

5 star(s)

Response to the question

This is a very well-written essay. It is confident and it's knowledge of social psychology and the nature of aggression expansive. The candidate writes clearly for and against Bandura's Social Learning Theory, and cites a number of appropriate studies in ...

Read full review

Response to the question

This is a very well-written essay. It is confident and it's knowledge of social psychology and the nature of aggression expansive. The candidate writes clearly for and against Bandura's Social Learning Theory, and cites a number of appropriate studies in order to validate their discussion about it. The candidate also questions other potential explanations of aggression and also what the SLT does not prove in humans, such as the cognitive and biological influencing elements that may demonstrate apparently unexplainable behaviour when considering only the SLT.

Level of analysis

The Level of Analysis is proficient and consistent throughout. There is every indication of a candidate who is able to achieve a top grade with this answer. The analysis is balanced and distributed well, with the candidate satisfying both question command well. They cite studies that bare strengths and limitations to the transmission of aggression within each approach (social, behavioural and psychodynamic) and all that is written is accurate and a clear portrayal of a great knowledge of the psychology of aggression.

Quality of writing

The Quality of Written Communication is excellent. There is no cause for concern anywhere in the essay, with regards to improper use of psychological terminology or incorrect applications of grammar, punctuation or spelling.


Did you find this review helpful? Join our team of reviewers and help other students learn

Reviewed by sydneyhopcroft 30/08/2012

Read less
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

    Psychology Coursework - Conformity

    4 star(s)

    The way in which we will measure the conformity levels of the questionnaires is by seeing out of those questions that were wrong on purpose in the false questionnaires how many people conformed to those wrong answers. Therefore the levels of conformity will be out of ten as there are

  2. Marked by a teacher

    Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk explores the theme of masculinity through clever characterisation, exploration ...

    4 star(s)

    Palahniuk shows these men as gullible even as they try to kill their own leader because he had told them to do so. This shows that they just needed an ideal to follow, once Tyler/Joe had given them it they abandoned him just as they were abandoned.

  1. Marked by a teacher

    Describe what psychologists have learned about environmental disaster and/or technological catastrophe.

    4 star(s)

    In addition the results of this research may suggest that providing people in danger areas with advice about evacuation procedure would help with the speed of evacuation and may get over the delays of wasted time spent locating each other.

  2. Pro and Anti Social Behaviour

    For example, they can all lead to Negative Affect and a desire to escape (NAE theory), they all can be physiologically arousing and they may all lead to Deindividuation. b) Altruism and Bystander behaviour Altruism Use for Outline and evaluate two explanations of human altruism (12 marks)

  1. Psychological Theories Of Crime

    Bowlby (1969, 1988) hypothesized that both infants and mothers have evolved a biological need to stay in contact with each other. Bowlby believed a child has an innate need to attach to their biological mother. He believed that this attachment is different from any other attachments.

  2. Psychological Theories on Crime Prevention and Offender Treatment

    the space and is more likely to deterre a person from crossing that boundary. Newman further suggested that modern developments such as high rise blocks reduce the amount of defensible space and effectively depersonalise them leading to a lack of ownership thus creating a rise is crime and vandalism.

  1. Outline and evaluate two social psychological theories of aggression

    Vicarious punishment is therefore when you see someone getting punished so you do not imitate his or her behaviour. Finally, context-dependent learning suggests that observers learn not only which behaviour to imitate, but also the contexts in which such aggression is appropriate.

  2. Deindividuation theories.

    The results from these changes (referred to as output variables) include emotional, impulsive, irrational, aggressive and extreme behaviour. To Zimbardo, deindividuated behaviour is inherently anti-social and essentially dangerous. Diener changed deindividuation theory slightly using the concept of objective self-awareness. The theory consists of high and low self-awareness.

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